Often in small business the most important tasks can feel overwhelming, intimidating, or just plain difficult. These important tasks are the tasks that easily avoided by procrastinating. If you put these important tasks on the back burner for too long, you will stifle your business’ growth. Don’t let fear or anxiety hold you back from taking your small business to the next level.

Reaching out to a new potential client, asking that old client to pay their overdue invoice again, fine tuning your budget so you know where there is room to expand, and making a new hire, are all examples of daunting tasks every small business owner faces. It may be easy to avoid them for awhile, but ultimately it will hurt your profits and increase your stress level.

Here are a few tips for ending the cycle of procrastination and the stress it causes:

Do the hardest task first

Get the most difficult task out of the way at the beginning of the day, then you won’t have to worry about for the rest of the day.

Create rewards

Set up a reward system to motivate yourself to get the hardest stuff done. For example, after you call five potential clients, you can have a piece of chocolate. Make the reward something that you will enjoy and that will refresh you. A short walk, 5 minutes of personal Facebook time, or a fancy cup of coffee are a few ideas. Make sure your rewards have limits, there is still work to do!

Skip the easy stuff

Don’t clean out your desk drawer one more time. Don’t find just one more informative article to share on Facebook. Don’t inventory your office supplies again. Make your plan for the day and stick to it. If those things are necessary, put them in the plan for the day. If not, skip them until your to-do list is done.

Turn off your phone

The phone is a great way to procrastinate. Unless the task involves your phone, turn it off until the task is completed. People can always leave a voicemail. When your task requires all day attention, schedule breaks specifically for checking voicemail and returning calls.

This also applies to checking your e-mail and other social media sites. Don’t let your computer or smartphone distract you from getting the job done.

Go for it

Stop making excuses and letting the simple stuff distract you.

Make the sale, win the new client, make the hire, balance the budget and pay the bills.

If your business is not running as efficiently as you like, this is when you need help. JMJ – EA for a Day can help you step through your administration processes and and figure out the best solutions for your business. It’s time you moved your business forward by working on it NOT in it.

Top 5 takeouts: Warning signs that you are procrastinating

You check your voicemail, email, and social media accounts constantly to avoid doing a specific task.
You feel anxious and overwhelmed before you even start working in the morning.
You have the same tasks on your to-do list everyday.
You feel paralyzed by the fear of taking a risk.
Your business is not moving forward because you have been avoiding a specific task.

How do you procrastinate? What motivates you to get busy, please leave a comment below?