We always feel better when we make progress. Yet sometimes we procrastinate, piddle around with time wasting black holes, and get distracted with the urgent instead of focusing on the important.
I say “we” for two reasons: 1) I fight those things every day, and 2) I’ve read a ton of blogs and articles on those very struggles so I know many others out there have the same problems.
So why sabotage ourselves so often?
Sometimes it’s a matter of stepping back to look at the bigger picture and pinpoint what’s holding us back. Then DO something about it.
But what? That’s the hard part. I usually have to poke and prod around the issue awhile before I can figure out what is really happening to keep me from progress.
I’ve been trying to take a hard look at my bad work habits this year. In particular, last year I was really dragging my feet about website updates, blog posts, or anything back-end. I started wondering why since these things are pretty important to maintaining a site. And I love you guys, so that wasn’t it. (It’s not you, it’s me! Really!)
First of all I don’t have a ton of high-tech knowledge. I can do some basic things and learn as I go, but when it comes to complicated coding I’m better leaving the technical stuff to the experts and doing what I do best. That’s no excuse though. I have a great tech ninja who got things up to speed. There are some things I need to do myself, and I know how to do them, so why not just get it done?
My less-than-expert tech skills aside, I was still resisting progress. I know how to set up blog posts and check for updates. My extremely patient web designer emphasized the importance of staying on top of updates to avoid hackers. So it shouldn’t be that hard to just log in and do it, right?
Bingo. Therein lies the problem.
My passwords were scattered hither and yon in various notebooks and emails, scratched out and updated, and I usually didn’t have the right notes with me when I thought to log in. Because of this, I became really frustrated with the process and just put it off. I wasted so much time trying to remember where to log in to begin with, figuring out my latest login info, and resetting passwords. By the time I finally got logged in, I was frustrated and feeling very unproductive already. I dreaded even trying. And for good reason! What an exasperating – and needless – waste of time!
So I decided this had to stop. There had to be a better way to go about it.
I finally got my act in gear and organized everything into one place.
Best business time investment ever.
That seems common sense. However, so much of my business evolved over time, with a couple of moves in between, that it gradually snowballed into a monster before I realized the magnitude of the problem. Once I stepped back and looked at the bigger picture, I could see that the issue was a simple fix.
Here’s what I did:
- Went through all my notebooks and emails to gather my logins, domains, hosting info, etc.
- Collected my passwords, usernames, account numbers, etc. for each site.
- Put these all in one secure place, divided by section: business, tools like my online fax, affiliate partners, and so on.
- I added any expiration dates, notes, special steps, or instructions.
It didn’t take long to set everything up. But let me tell you, it was SO worth it.
Once I had the momentum going with that, I started creating better systems for other things too – blog posts, templates, Google calendar reminders, paying bills, and even meal planning.
Those steps finally helped me get my act together and start making real progress on the things I’ve been putting off. I have a long way to go, but I’m moving in the right direction. Imperfect progress is still progress.
What’s holding you back? What are you going to do about it? I’d love to hear about your progress – drop a note in the comments below.