There is sometimes a sneaky culprit that prevents us from being able to stop procrastinating. It’s often very obvious when we’re procrastinating with things such as Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, or another Buzzfeed article. But what happens when you need to stop procrastinating with something “positive” like learning?
We’re taught from a very young age the power of learning. It is seen as a tool to unlock doors and provide opportunities we never imagined. Learning is viewed as a way to bridge class divides and overcome economic disadvantage. And learning is powerful.
While all of this is entirely true, there comes a time when the pursuit of learning can actually hold us back from making true progress. When we fail to stop procrastinating in the form of learning, we hold ourselves back from moving forward.
Sometimes, we just have to stop learning and start doing as we grow our businesses.
But how do we know it’s time to stop procrastinating in the form of learning? Let’s look at two classic signs that it’s time to get down to doing.
Chasing the Magic Bullet
It’s easy to pursue learning new skills as the magic bullet to solving all our problems as business owners. Countless programs and courses feed this myth by marketing their content as the one thing that will make your business unrecognizable (in a good way). And while some do have amazing things to add to your arsenal, it is unlikely that one skill or piece of information will be the cure to any and all of your business woes.
If you find yourself taking course after course in order to discover the answer to creating success, it’s highly likely that it’s time to stop procrastinating and start implementing.
Stuck on Repeat
Another classic sign that you need to stop procrastinating is that you’re repeating content over and over. While it’s always interesting to see new spins on old concepts, it’s unlikely that the fourth Facebook ads course is going to change much when all is said and done. Generally, when we keep repeating content like this, there’s some reason we’re not implementing it.
By revisiting the same content time and again, we are creating a perfect excuse for why we can’t or don’t move forward in the way we want to. This sign can be the most damaging because it provides the perfect excuse for why we’re not accomplishing our goals. It is far easier to blame our need to learn more for our lack of progress than to dig down and figure out what’s really going on.
Is it time to stop procrastinating?
This begs the question: What do we need to do if we see this happening in our businesses or in our lives?
First, let’s stop and assess if we’re really learning something critical to our business — and something we truly don’t know.
There are important instances where new skills will help us create new revenue streams, increase business, or improve our lives. But if the learning isn’t providing a tangible return, then it may not be needed. These skills may be instead a sneaky method of procrastination!
Second, consider exactly how you are going to implement the new skills you are learning. There’s certainly a place and time to learn for learning’s sake, but if you need to implement and execute to move your business forward, you have to make a plan to actually get the work done before you’ll see results.
Third, set a deadline to get started. So often, we need to just stop procrastinating by diving in and getting started before we’ll truly feel comfortable implementing. But, without a deadline, we’ll delay the plunge — perhaps out of fear or resistance or simply being too busy. A concrete deadline will encourage us to get done with the learning and get on with the doing.
So, I challenge you to consider whether you’re learning for a purpose or perhaps using it as a distraction. We are all capable of great and amazing things — but we have to get to work first to see any results!