5 Stages of Beating Procrastination

5 Stages of Beating Procrastination

June 2, 2024
Assalamualaikum!

It took me:

  • 11 months
  • 3 paid courses
  • 2 books
  • Studying 100s of posts from different LinkedIn creators

 

to finally hit publish on my first LinkedIn post. 

I spent 30 mins writing it.

For some context, I’ve been in the online space for 5 years. 

I’m not even starting on LinkedIn from zero. I’ve been in the online space for 5 years and am starting with a 30K+ monthly website audience, 30K+ Pinterest followers, and a 10K+ email list.

Yet, it took me 11 months to start. Not cool.

Over the last year, I’ve contemplated adding a new channel to my content strategy. 

After a lot of consulting, self-study, and data analysis, I concluded LinkedIn was the best next step for spreading the message of my content.

I made that decision last year, in July 2023. 

A big part of the delay was the process of learning. 

But a bigger part of it was simply inaction. 

I have heavily paid the biggest cost of my inaction: my message and content were not shared on LinkedIn for nearly a year. 

I paid the opportunity cost of not building a larger network of Muslims on LinkedIn. 

And the worst – I suffered the mental pain of delaying something that I wanted to do.

I want to show you a quick comparison between starting LinkedIn and starting the other 3 content strategies years ago: Google SEO, Pinterest, and email list building. 

I started each of those strategies within days of the decision.

I executed them before I knew HOW. 

I learned from PRACTICE. 

And each of those channels grew. And they grew faster than I thought they would. And above all, I didn’t lose any time in the delay.

This tells me there’s no point in delaying. Gaining all the information about something before starting doesn’t mean better results. You can get great results by figuring things out as you do them. Also, by the time you’ve learned all the info, everything would have changed haha.

Even though my intentions to start on LinkedIn have been there, I’m guilty of delay.

Here are a few justifications (*ahem* correction: excuses) for my delay: (this is literally what I’ve been telling myself since last July)

  1. I was busy with other parts of growing my brand (client work, product launches, curriculum design, sales funnels, team building, learning new skills, blah blah). I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to start a whole new thing.
  2. I had more to lose by adding new things to my plate: My TIME. I value it more and more each year.
  3. I was concerned that writing on LinkedIn would take time from more important things like my family, flexibility of travel, etc.
  4. I knew that writing on LinkedIn would be another thing I’d have to stay consistent with. More self-discipline would be needed.
  5. I wasn’t sure how to start writing LinkedIn-style content. I’ve sharpened my pen over the years for longer-form articles. Certainly, it would be a challenge to mold my writing to a different platform.
  6. The Obsessive Strategist in me needed a LinkedIn marketing strategy, an A-to-Z execution system, a database of ideas for 1 year, and an execution work routine for writing on LinkedIn before I started. (Errr…yes, I can see the flaw in my expectations as I write this.) 

 

Here is how I killed each of the excuses to get started: ⚔️

  1. I CREATED the bandwidth to start this new thing by removing other things from my calendar (I am further delegating many things I’ve been doing myself). I have carved out some time per week to write on LinkedIn. I will most likely be slow for a year and I’m okay with that.
  2. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding LinkedIn to my content strategy. MORE SERVICE. IMPACT. MESSAGE shared. CONNECTIONS. I always wanted to have a social media channel where I could engage with my readers over the comments and DMs. LinkedIn will be that channel.
  3. Writing online is a part of my MISSION as a Muslim educator. And anything that can grow your mission, you must make time for it. Otherwise, you’re not being true to yourself and the mission will not grow. I realized that writing on a social platform (LinkedIn) is possible anywhere in the world and I can decide WHEN I want to write. For now, I’m in Cancun Mexico and I’ve chosen to write on the mornings of Friday & Saturday CST. This might change as I travel again. I don’t have to sacrifice my travels or family time. I decide how to design my calendar. 
  4. I already have some self-discipline. I have been writing newsletters, articles, and playbooks, and working on my mission consistently for years. I don’t need to worry about self-discipline. I will build more discipline through action and although it will be painful, more discipline will only bring more good things in my life.
  5. I know that writing only gets better through practice. I will dedicate the 1st year on LinkedIn to figuring out my writing style.
  6. Here’s what I did to satisfy my Obsessive Strategist: Instead of figuring out everything myself I have shrunk my learning time through courses. Now I can focus my energy on just writing. I bought 3 expert courses on this, finished consuming, and extracted EVERY single one of the lessons from ALL three courses into my Notion System. This is the result: 

 

Moral of the story?

 

I’ve realized that the best way to figure out ‘how’ to do this is simply by doing it. Start and Allah SWT will guide and make it easy. 

Words I’ve heard somewhere, “most decisions are reversible…

…And the ones that are not usually don’t have as dire consequences as we imagine.”

When you see a daunting decision or something you want to do that you may not have the confidence for, that you’re finding overwhelming or confusing to start…there are 5 stages you must go through to START taking action and find momentum.

Here are the 5 stages to beating procrastinating and becoming an ACTION-TAKER:

First note the thing you’re procrastinating to start. 

STAGE 1: Recognise your excuses as “excuses” and stop justifying them. You’re not fooling anyone. Most people will play the victim their whole lives and never move past this stage. Any resistance that stops you from starting something good that you know will benefit people has to be from Shaytan.

STAGE 2: Beat your excuses through rationale, logic, and reason.

STAGE 3: Hype up the upside to doing the thing by shining the light on outcomes, the big WHY, and how that thing aligns with your Mission/goals as a Muslim. Find the FUN & challenge in it! 

STAGE 4: Start small to get focused. Break the big mountain of the thing into smaller hills that you KNOW you can cross easily. Use all the hype you created in stage 3 to start small. Start by focusing ONLY on the first hill.  

E.g. the first step for starting on social media would be to set up your social profile. Then write ideas for your first 5 posts…Then write a draft of the first one… Then hit publish.

STAGE 5: Get into momentum. Once you’ve crossed the first hill, you’ll feel more confident. Use that confidence to cross the next hill. 

Then the next.

When you get stuck on a hill and feel it’s too much, go back a few steps. Rest. break the hill into smaller steps. Then focus on the next step ONLY.

Remember, Allah SWT is with you and will make your work easy.

Follow these 5 stages and your confidence will inevitably grow.

Until you’ll be looking down the mountain, unable to recognize yourself from the first tiny hill.

What have you been thinking about for 11 months? Go start it today. And then trust Allah SWT to make it easy for you!

Oh and also, check out my first post on LinkedIn here and give me a follow so you can see my posts!

I’ll also be more active in the comments section of LinkedIn so if you wish to connect with me, that’s where you’ll find me.

I’m really stoked about writing on LinkedIn and, hopefully, also connecting with you.

I’ll see you next week! (or sooner on LinkedIn!)

ALL my best,
Aimen

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