Procrastination is a force. It can stop you in your tracks when you’re trying to build your practice.

Even if you’re extremely passionate about wanting a full-time practice and dedicated to your mission of helping people, procrastination might be lurking over your shoulder whispering all kinds of distractions in your ears.

No one is truly immune to it.

You might find yourself scanning the internet instead of calling new referral sources.

Or maybe your flavor is watching lots of tv instead of participating in social media marketing.

All too common, are therapists that find themselves stuck in other jobs, leaving no time to market their practice.  Believe it or not this can be a form of procrastination.

Procrastination comes in countless forms and is often one of the most difficult roadblocks to creating a practice in a reasonable time frame.

It’s also sneaky.

Your procrastinating mind will play many tricks on you. Often you think you are focused on tasks that are productive and efficient, but in reality your mind is finding ways to do anything but be productive and efficient.

An example of this is when you are spending hours a week on researching new trainings you are interested in, which detracts from spending those on hours on getting new clients.

Sure, increasing your level of mastery is very important as a therapist, but all too often therapists bury themselves in training after training, because they are procrastinating from doing more seemingly mundane tasks of growing their practice.

So, how do you overcome procrastination so you become a force to grow your business, meet your goals and help tons of people?

Follow these 3 steps to ward off the procrastination monster before it rears it’s ugly head.

1. Make a list of all of your procrastination behaviors

Think big here. Put any behavior in your life that feels like a distraction. Don’t worry if it shows up in growing your practice or not.

Usually, many procrastination behaviors go unnoticed even though they are playing out in your business.  Get very specific. If you distract yourself with watching tv, write down how often, how long, and what you watch. The more specific you get the easier it will be to identify these behaviors later.

2. Identify when you are procrastinating instead of working

This may sound simple in practice, but it’s often difficult at first to execute.

During your “work day” when you are wanting to build your practice, refer to your list of procrastination behaviors every couple of hours. Check off the distractions that you spent a lot of energy into instead of focusing on building your business.

I’m not referring to behaviors during needed breaks during the day.  It’s important to take these breaks at regular intervals. I’m referring to the rest of the day when you are wanting to focus on your practice.

3. Create your urgency mantra

If you’re wanting to grow a private practice and haven’t reached your goals, you likely have a longing inside of you. That longing comes from a place of deep desire to manifest your vision.

However, if you haven’t been fully able to manifest that vision there is likely a procrastination roadblock.  In order to overcome the procrastination roadblock without making your life more complicated than it already is, you can use an urgency mantra.

An urgency mantra is basically a statement or question you can ask yourself as you get to know your procrastination behaviors more intimately.

A great example of an urgency mantra is to ask yourself the question, “AM I really willing to forgo my life vision by reading the news on the internet instead of marketing my practice?”

Notice how powerful that question is.  Is you take a question like that very seriously you back yourself into a corner to make a choice.  Either your going to keep procrastinating or you are going to choose to do it differently. 

Whenever you catch yourself in a distracting behavior back yourself into a corner with an urgency mantra. Then it’s completely up to you to make a new choice.

If building your practice is truly your highest priority and absolutely urgent you will find that nothing can stand in your way and new possibilities will come every day.

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

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