Jade Boyd Co.


Procrastination Hacks + How to Take More Action as a Business Owner

Procrastination Hacks + How to Take More Action as a Business Owner | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd
I'm Jade!

MBA | Business Strategist | Productivity Coach | I help busy service providers bring order to chaos with minimalist strategies and systems.

hey there

Task Batching Workbook


Slow living, minimalism, home, relationships, health, and more!

TOp categories

Building a brand and marketing your creative business online

The latest episodes of the Business Edit™ Podcast

Tips for pursuing big goals and getting the right things done.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify

So much of running a business is showing up for mundane tasks that aren’t exciting. Results don’t come instantly they come with consistency. And it’s easy to get work done when we’re motivated to do it, but we can’t always rely on that motivation to be there. We’re going to have off days, low energy days, and distracted days. So how can we, as business owners who need to show up and get things done in order to grow our business, consistently show up for our business and get things done without falling into the pitfall of procrastination? And procrastination is something that we ALL struggle with on one form or another. And in order to overcome your unique procrastination habits, you first have to understand why you’re procrastinating. In this episode, we’re going to talk about the six reasons why we procrastinate, and how to overcome each unique form of procrastination.

Procrastination Hacks + How to Take More Action as a Business Owner | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd

Key Takeaways from this Episode

  • Six reasons why you might be procrastinating on a task
  • Practical hacks to help you beat procrastination
  • The question to ask to move through the difficulties causing procrastination
  • The key shift to help you move into creative solutions
  • My step-by-step process that will help you make a plan and accomplish your tasks
  • How I organize my business to know the important things I need to focus on

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Click here to read the full episode transcript!

Jade Boyd: If it does serve a larger purpose, tying it back to what that is, reminding yourself of the results that you’re going to get from doing this task and completing it and really doing what you can to make it meaningful in a way that you’ll believe it.

Jade Boyd: So much of running a business is showing up for the mundane tasks that really are not exciting, and I like to say that results don’t come instantly, they come with consistency. And it’s easier to get work done when we’re motivated to do it. Right? But we can’t always rely on that motivation to be there day in and day out.

We’re going to have off days, we’re going to have low energy days, we’re going to have distracted days. So how can we as business owners, who do need to show up and get things done consistently in order to grow our businesses, consistently show up for our business and the things that we need to get done without falling into the pit of procrastination. And procrastination is definitely something that we all struggle with. Nobody is exempt from procrastination and general, all those, some personalities are more likely to struggle with procrastination to some degree or form. All of us struggle with it in some way, including me, including all productivity coaches and people writing books about productivity. It’s something that we all face and deal with. And in order to overcome our unique procrastination habits, first we have to understand why we as individuals are procrastinating on specific tasks. So in this episode, I’m going to walk through six different reasons of why we procrastinate and different strategies and tips for overcoming. Each unique form of procrastination.

So the six reasons that I’m talking about today, actually come from one of my favorite books about productivity, it’s called The Productivity Project, and I will link that in the show notes in case you want to check out the book yourself. It’s a super helpful, really easy, very practical book that goes through different productivity strategies and tips. And at the end of every chapter, there’s a specific challenge for you to try out. And so if you are focused on increasing your productivity this year, it’s a book I would highly, highly recommend. It’s a super fun, interesting and short read, but these six reasons why people procrastinate come from one of the chapters. I also really appreciate that the author focuses on research behind every topic. So these six traits that we’re going to talk about are scientifically proven to be traits that make tasks more likely to be procrastinated on. So these six different reasons why you might be procrastinating on a task, are research backed and showing that if a task that’s on your list has any one of these six traits and it could have more than one of , these six traits, it could have all six traits, which means it’s even more likely that any person dealing with that task would procrastinate on it.

And if you know me, you know, that I like science and research and things that aren’t just random lists that are actually proven to be true. Right? So I hope that this list of six reasons why we procrastinate is helpful in helping you identify why you might be procrastinating on a certain project or tasks so that you can actually solve that problem.

So without further ado, let’s jump into the six qualities of tasks that make them more likely to be procrastinated on.

So the first trait of a task that would make it more likely to be procrastinated on is that it’s boring. It’s just not interesting to you. Again, it’s a little bit mundane, it’s not exciting. It’s really easy for us to look at those things on our to-do list and think, ah, I’ll do that tomorrow or I don’t want to do that right now, I’m going to do something else. Instead, they get pushed to the bottom of the list and then ultimately they fall to the wayside and get procrastinated on. So if a task on your list is boring, if you’re thinking, yes, there’s been this project on my list forever. And I’ve said that I would get it done forever and it’s just not getting done because I’m procrastinating on it. And you’re realizing that you’re not doing it because it’s boring. Here are a few different things that you can try to stop the procrastinations cycle on this boring task.

Make it more exciting by changing it up a little bit and partnering this boring task with something that does feel more exciting to you. So for example, you can go to a coffee shop if it feels exciting and interesting for you to change your environment and go to a new place where you’re more engaged, that can help you make progress on a boring task. Also just romanticizing your work life and setting the mood for productivity can be really helpful for boring tasks. And you can do this without leaving your house. So in your office, for example, making it a really special environment for you to get this thing done. So if this is on your calendar for 1:00 PM and you know, you have to work on this thing that you’re not looking forward to. Doing a quick tidy beforehand, clearing the clutter in your office, putting on a diffuser or lighting a candle, putting on some fun music, making sure that you’re getting dressed and like wearing something that makes you feel good and energetic. Whatever that might be to set the mood and the tone so that it does feel more interesting and engaging, and again, be a little idealistic and romanticize this a little bit to make this boring task a little bit more enticing.

You could also set a challenge for yourself, especially if you’re somebody who loves competition. And if you want to set a little challenge for yourself and how quickly you could get through this boring task that you’re not looking forward to. Challenge yourself to get it done in 20 minutes, set a timer or challenge yourself that if you get it done by a certain day, you’ll get a reward or something like that.

But if you are a competitive person, think about a way that you could make it a little bit more competitive or engage with other people, if they have a boring task they’re procrastinating on or struggling to do the same thing, like if batching podcast episodes, for example, is something that you find really boring. Hopefully not if you’re a podcaster, but just for the sake of example and you know, another podcaster who’s also struggling, could you create a little competition on who can get it done faster and wager something on it, whatever is going to incentivize you to make it more exciting and interesting.

Hand-in-hand with collaborating with somebody else to do a challenge, you could also just co-work for accountability, whether that’s virtual or in person. Having somebody hold you accountable to just getting the boring thing done can be very incentivizing when it comes to eliminating procrastination on this specific type of task.

The second quality of a task that makes it more likely for you to procrastinate is any task on your to-do list that is frustrating. That whenever you work on it, you just get mad. For whatever reason that might be, if a task is really frustrating to you, you’re obviously not going to want to work on it. So for a task that is frustrating, that does have to get done. That does have to get done by you. You could limit the amount of time that you spend on it. So for example, if you’re doing your taxes and numbers are just really frustrating to you and it makes you mad, as soon as you start working on it, maybe setting a timer and only forcing yourself to work on that task for 30 minutes to make it more doable.

Oftentimes when you limit the time that you spend on something, just getting started can help you get into the groove and get that motivation that you need to finish it. But if you reach the 30 minutes and you’re still frustrated, allow yourself to stop and break it down into more bite sized chunks of time so that you’re not getting so endlessly frustrated that you’re generating more and more negative feelings towards that task. Staying in that state of frustration for 30 minutes and then moving on to something that is less frustrating.

The third quality of a task that makes it more likely to be procrastinated on is any task that is difficult. Because again, if we’re looking at a task on our list and know that it’s going to be really hard. It makes us less motivated to want to actually sit down and do that thing. Right? Doing the easy things is really rewarding intrinsically, doing difficult things oftentimes is not. So for something on your list, that feels really difficult, the best strategy to make yourself get through this and not procrastinate on it is to break it down into more manageable pieces that feel less difficult to accomplish. So don’t have a project on your to-do list, like batch launch content, for example, that is a very big and difficult thing to do, but breaking it down into more manageable pieces, such as finishing a training on launch strategy in The Business Edit I have a bonus training on business minimalist launch strategy.

So that might be one manageable piece, listening to a training, easy. It feels less difficult. Right? And then mapping out the timeline for the launch could be something that might still be a little bit difficult for you to think about, but it’s a bite size, more manageable piece. So those smaller pieces, even if they add up to a difficult task, can feel less difficult and can help you not procrastinate on the bigger, more difficult project or task.

Another way to make progress on difficult tasks is to ask for help. So again, it’s easier to tackle a difficult task if you have a playbook for how to do that. If you not only find something difficult or hard to do, but don’t know what you have to do in order to complete that project. Those are two different dimensions of making this difficult on yourself. Right? So if there’s something on your to-do list that it seems like you have to learn how to do it and you have to do it, two very hard things. Maybe asking who could help you do that or who could do it for you instead of trying to force yourself to do it yourself.

So that, that task isn’t getting procrastinated on. Done is done, right? Whether you do it, whether you do it with help or whether you have somebody else do it. Done is done. So overcoming procrastination by asking who and not how.

Another little check that I have brought up on the podcast before that I like to think of when it comes to difficult tasks is just asking yourself the question, what if this were easy? Because oftentimes we make things on our to-do lists more difficult than they have to be, whether that’s through perfectionism or over-planning or unrealistic standards. We’re trying to go above and beyond in every area or too many areas at once asking yourself and just taking 60 seconds to think about what if this task were easy? What would that look like? And just opening the door for creative solutions that isn’t just pounding the pavement and working as hard as possible until this difficult thing is done. Maybe you could make it a little bit easier on yourself and think a little bit creatively on how that task could just be easier.

And hand-in-hand with that is checking your mindset when it comes to difficult tasks. One of my clients recently was asking for feedback on a specific thing and said, quote, unquote, this will be the death of me. And if you’re telling yourself things like that, when it comes to difficult tasks that are on your to-do list, you are continually going to have a negative mindset. And have a higher likelihood of procrastinating on those things if you’re telling yourself that it’s difficult. So watch what you’re telling yourself when it comes to the hard things, especially when it comes to goals in your business and the things that you want to accomplish that feel hard. If you’re telling yourself over and over again, this is too hard, I don’t want to do this, this is impossible, then you are much less likely to show up and take small actions in the right direction that help you finish that hard thing. So check your mindset at the door and make sure that you’re telling yourself positive things, such as this is difficult, but I am capable of breaking this down into more manageable pieces, or this is a really difficult thing, and I don’t know how to do it. But I’m capable of finding the right person to help me. Changing your mindset can go a long way in helping you make progress on something that’s difficult.

The fourth reason why you might be procrastinating on a task is because it’s unstructured or it’s ambiguous. So the best thing to do for a project on your list that seems really unstructured or ambiguous, you’re looking at it and you’re not even knowing what that means to take action and make progress is to break it down and make a plan. And again, I think this is specifically something that entrepreneurs face when it comes to their goals. And having these big lofty goals in their business, but it feels really ambiguous on how they’re actually going to get there, especially when it comes to revenue goals. Right? Which is why I am so passionate about having a quarterly reset and breaking down your annual business goals every single quarter to make sure that you are making sure that you know the exact things to do so that you’re not procrastinating on your goals, that you are taking it step-by-step and have that clear plan and clear action steps each and every week that you’re not guessing on what you should be focused on or should be prioritizing in your business. So, so important when it comes to overcoming procrastination and making progress. But if you are looking at a goal or a project on your to-do list and you just feel like this is really ambiguous, it’s not very concrete, I don’t know what to do next. Take the time to make a plan and break it down so that it becomes a little bit more structured and clear what you can do next.

And if breaking goals and projects down into tasks is not your cup of tea or is not within your natural giftings, make sure you check out The Quarterly Reset, I’ll make sure that link is in the show notes, because it can be a very step-by-step cut and dry process on taking big things in your business and making them small things that you are more likely to show up and get done that feel good, that even give you those dopamine hits that a lot of the other smaller tasks, like checking email, or, checking in with your clients might give you because those are quick and easy, right?

The easier you can make it on yourself to make progress on your goals, the faster you’re going to make progress. So again, if this is not in your skillset, I have a step-by-step process that has a lot of guidance and examples and a clear framework that you can work through in order to do this very simply and very strategically in your business. So if that is something that’s holding you back from making progress and is keeping you in that procrastination loop, make sure you check out the link for The Quarterly Reset in the show notes.

The fifth trait of a task that makes it more likely for you to procrastinate on it is that it’s lacking in personal meaning. Meaning that it doesn’t really matter to you or you don’t see the bigger reason why this should be done or should be important. So the solution to this is adding that dimension of meaning to it and tying it back and reminding yourself of why it’s important. So if you have a bigger vision or mission in your business or in your life that this task is tied to. Reminding yourself that this individual tasks might seem a little bit meaningless, but overall, it probably is serving a purpose to your overall business.

If it’s on your to-do list and it’s worth doing, and it’s worth asking yourself, is this meaningful or not, and if it’s not meaningful at all and does not contribute anything to your business, then why are we doing it? It’s okay to procrastinate and delete that, but if it does serve a larger purpose, tying it back to what that is, reminding yourself of the results that you’re going to get from doing this task and completing it and really doing what you can to make it meaningful in a way that you’ll believe it.

So for me in this area is something that has been lacking in personal meaning for me recently is Instagram content because every client who ends up hiring me says that they’ve been bingeing my podcast. Like they might have found me on Instagram or somebody shared a post and that’s how they originally found me, but for most clients that have hired me. They have said when they come to me that the podcast is what made them know that I was the right business coach for them. And so for me, Instagram content has felt a little bit meaningless.

Like, why am I doing this? Does this even matter? And so this spring I went through a whole process of figuring out what purpose my Instagram content had in my broader scope of marketing and how I could show up on Instagram in a way that did feel meaningful to me. And for me that looked like creating content differently and creating more conversations and connections and showing up as a thought leader, more on Instagram rather than just creating content that was straight up strategic because strategic content that is very. I don’t know how to describe it. Other than it’s strategic. It is tied into my goals and has clear call to action. Like almost like launch content. But, in every season of business, and it was a lot of repurposing of content from the podcast too, which just felt like I was saying the same thing in multiple places, which is not a bad thing, but for me, it just wasn’t feeling meaningful and it wasn’t feeling good to me and I wasn’t doing it, because it didn’t feel motivating for me to figure out how to repurpose the podcast content for Instagram when I had no hope that it would actually perform well, because it hadn’t been in the past. So, for me, it took me sitting down and figuring out that on Instagram, what would feel meaningful and what would feel joyful. And it would be more motivating for me, even if it didn’t make perfect sense strategically, or even in the amount of time that it would add my plate to create. Would be to show up with content that’s more engaging that builds relationships and is more personally fulfilling.

And so I decided to change and experiment. And try that for 90 days. And again, talking about The Quarterly Reset, it’s totally fine to change things in your business and experiment with them. And maybe after the 90 days, I learn that this isn’t the right move and I pivot onto something else. And that’s fine too, but staying stuck where I was at, in a rhythm that didn’t feel personally meaningful for me, it was just keeping me stuck in procrastination and not showing up in a way that I wanted to on that specific channel.

So to sum up reason, number five, if there’s something that you’re procrastinating on, making sure that you’re tying it back to something that feels meaningful to you, especially if you’re looking at that task or project and thinking this isn’t going to make a difference if I do it or not, so I’m just not going to do it. Right?

And reason number six. A trait of a task that makes it more likely that you’ll procrastinate on it is that it’s lacking in intrinsic rewards. Which basically means that it’s not fun or engaging for you to do it. There are certain things in your business that are probably really fun or engaging and get you into those flow states, but then there’s a lot of things that are intrinsically not rewarding. You don’t get the dopamine hits. You don’t get any excitement or energy from doing them. They’re just the dreaming type of tasks. Right? So for tasks that are lacking intrinsic rewards, you could create a different way for you to reward yourself in a meaningful way for doing it.

So this could be finishing a task and then giving yourself a meaningful reward, like taking a 10 minute break, or giving yourself some sort of dopamine reward, even if that’s checking your email for five minutes, but again, do this in a healthy way, let’s not just create more addiction to dopamine in our business or in our lives to force us to be productive, doing it in a healthy way, like checking your email for five minutes or messaging a friend, or getting up and taking a walk around your house or around your yard, whatever that might look like to give yourself a reward that does make finishing that task more fun or engaging.

If it’s not intrinsically rewarding, when you cross it off, it doesn’t give you any satisfaction. Making sure that you’re creating that satisfaction for yourself can help you stop procrastinating on that specific task.

I hope going through these six different traits of tasks that make them more likely to be procrastinated on has been helpful in helping you understand why you might be procrastinating in certain areas in your business, in certain projects, in your business. Maybe even in a specific task that’s been on your to-do list for forever, that you keep crossing out and writing all over again. One tool in my own business that helps me identify what I’m procrastinating on is my ClickUp system.

And if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you’ll know that I love ClickUp, which is my task management system. And I have a course called Organize Your Business that teaches you how to organize everything in your business in one place in this beautifully organized and streamlined task management system.

But within ClickUp, I can see very clearly, what are the tasks and projects that have been moved week after week after week? What are the ones that have been skipped if it’s a recurring task over and over and over again? It marks every single time I change a due date on a task. And so if it’s been changed 10 different times, I know clearly, and I can see step-by-step because ClickUp is recording that for me, which tasks I’m procrastinating on, it makes it really, really visible. And half the battle in overcoming procrastination is being really aware on what you’re procrastinating on, but also why you’re procrastinating on it.

So if you don’t have any system for making it visible, what the projects and tasks are that you’re procrastinating on, I would definitely encourage you to check out the Organize Your Business course and be really clear on what’s on your to-do list. And what’s not on your to-do list. Because that’s a huge focus of the course as well. Not trying to get everything done, but figuring out a way to organize your business in life, around the things that need to get done and helping you focus more on the important things rather than the little things, and oftentimes the important things are those things that are unstructured or ambiguous or difficult or frustrating, and more likely to be procrastinated on.

So making sure that you’re focusing on the right areas, in your business and moving the needle consistently, but also helping your work be a lot more visible so that you can make better decisions and manage your productivity with more data, more analytics and more step-by-step planning.

So the link to that is in the show notes as always, and I hope you’ll check it out, but. And tell next time, I hope you can take what you learned today and get 1% better this week.

Subscribe to the Business Edit™ Podcast

If you enjoyed this episode, you won’t want to miss what’s coming next! Make sure you hit the subscribe button to tune into future episodes.

If you love the Business Edit™ Podcast, I’d be so grateful if you’d rate and review it on iTunes! Simply scroll down, tap to give it a five star rating, then tap “Write a Review.” Your rating and review will help more small business owners discover helpful episodes each week!


Hi, I'm jade!

Ready to simplify and scale your services?

From MBA to Brand Photographer to Business Coach, I learned the hard way how to build a life-first business that allows me to work part-time hours without sacrificing profit. Now I help service providers simplify and scale their businesses so they can earn their dream income while living life on their schedule. If you're ready to build a sustainable, profitable service business (without the burnout), apply for the Business Edit™ Group Coaching Program today!

the business edit

Streamline your workflows, ditch the busy work, and step into your CEO role with the Organize your Business Template.

The Organize Your Business Template

feeling overwhelmed in your creative biz? check this out!

Business + Productivity Coach | I help busy creatives bring order to chaos with an intentional strategy and simple systems.

Hi, I'm Jade!

Jade Boyd Co.