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What Have You Been Putting Off and What’s Holding You Back?

In a quiet moment yesterday I asked my Twitter network:

“what’s one thing that you have been putting off that would improve your blog? (and what’s stopping you from doing it now?)”

The answers were quite varied – everything from redesigns, to writing E-Books, to posting more regularly to SEO optimization, to monetization.

A number of people reflected that just being asked the question helped them to move forward with things that they’d been procrastinating with – so I thought I’d ask the question again here on the blog.

Of course there can be good reasons for putting things off – timing is important and you can’t do everything at once – but if you’re anything like me there are things that you know you probably should be doing that you’re simply procrastinating about.

For me one of the big procrastinations for me until mid last year was creating a product of my own. I’d always said I’d write an E-Book – but every time I sat down to do it I never got past the planning stage (I have notebooks with about 10 different plans that never eventuated).

Why didn’t I do it? Was it laziness…. or busyness….? If I’m honest about it I’m sure it’d be a bit of both of those things – however I suspect it was also partly fear that held me back.

Fear that it’d flop, fear that nobody would buy it, fear that people would critique me for selling something and not giving it away for free, fear that it wouldn’t be perfect, fear that perhaps I didn’t have it in me to create a product like I wanted….

Actually – saying I was too busy might sound a bit better – I sound very insecure!

In the end – I knew that if I didn’t create an E-Book that I’d be kicking myself later. The time came for me to draw a line in the sand and just do it. I don’t have any secret strategies for getting over the hump of getting myself into gear really.

I did tell a couple of others that I was doing it – I did set aside two days purely to put it together – I did engage the services of someone to help me design it – I did set myself a deadline.

All of that helped me get going but in the end it was a change of attitude that got me over the hump.

“what’s one thing that you have been putting off that would improve your blog? (and what’s stopping you from doing it now?)”

PS: one of the reasons I started ProBlogger.com was to help those of us who procrastinate to be accountable to others. A number of our members over there are setting themselves (and each other) challenges to help them keep moving forward.

For example Paul recently set a challenge for members to create a free report/e-book to give away (that link is only viewable by members). What’s exciting to me is that a number of members have actually got their reports ready and launched as a result of working together in this way rather than just tackling their list of things that they must do alone.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. @Bob – You are right, I consider article writing for two purposes:

    1) If I want more visibility on the web, I suffice to writing tips and points in a summarized way.

    2) If I want to create something awesome to attract lots of attention and have it published as a guest blogger’s article on someone’s site, I would become very careful and spend more time.

    Maybe you can feel relieved a bit following this method.

    @scheng1 – What I do is to allocate some time to distribution of my articles, a time when I don’t feel like thinking deeply about anything. I just stay focused and do this. You may like this method.

  2. EAch day has such unlimited wonderful opportunities and we so often waste them away. Procrastination is a killer and I should know, I am the King! (Soon to be abdicating the throne for a better job.)

  3. What holds people back are themselfs most of the time.

    My parents hold me back in ways its hard for people to understand. Like how they lost my social security card and were looking for it. So i cant sign up with a ton of companies because they require tax information. It sucks

  4. Dat says:

    Hello Darren,

    I just bought your e-book about a month ago. Just want to ask that is one of the best book I have read for the last 2 years.

    For myself is will be the mailing list. I have the site for 2 years, but just set it up last month. Finally. I think I have beat everybody on that the department. Thank you for the post, I thought am the only one have the fear and lazyness issue.

  5. First of all, this Blog is amazing! I learned so very much in a condensed period of time. What a blessing to find you.

    My greatest challenge is trying to get my arms around the total time commitment that will be involved in ensuring there is longevity in my blog. I don’t want to launch something only to stop publishing 6-8 months later. I want to make sure I have longevity to the project, and it is not done on a whim.

    I have so many experiences to share, and know that what I have to offer can be impactful to others, but it is the difficult to ascertain what in my experience will be enlightening or entertaining to readers.

    I think I am getting close to what angle and approach I want to take. It would be an approach that would ultimately lead into a book publication.

  6. Shaul Hagen says:

    One of my goals is to go out and start making meaningful comments and contributions to other blogs in my niche, although I am wrestling with myself as to whether it is the right time or I should give it a few more weeks since I just launched my first blog a couple weeks back.

    Another goal I want to pursue is understanding why Adsense continues to serve PSA’s on my blog sometimes and not others. I think it has to do with not a lot of pages being indexed and maybe needing a little more content.

    Finally wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed the Pro Blogger book as well as the ProBlogger blog itself.

    Thanks for the tips, there seem to be so many that I jut have to keep plugging away and trying things. I am in the stage in which I have launched and nothing is happening and no one is really reading so I am really having to push through.

    XML sitemap release this morning though. Hoping that will help! Having fun and learning a ton thus far.

  7. Tatil says:

    My problem is finding the time. i am a mom who works full-time so when I have extra time it typically is not spent on my blog. And when I do get a spare hour or so I end up getting writers block and not maximizes the time I have. Like right now. I have some time alone and I am reading blogs instead of doing what I need to do for my own. I agree with this comments.

  8. Juliet Rowe says:

    Before I begin, not sure why I am blogging, but my gut says, ‘continue and go forth…’ so that is what I shall do – obey the gut.

    With the intention of creating a ‘must-do’ daily ritual / activity / chore for the concerns of my fanbase on the world wide web, I recently created a section entitled ‘Juju’s Daily Insight’ on the blog; with ‘daily’ being the operative word. Hmmmm. It hasn’t officially been updated, daily but I thought the pressure of it’s ‘dailyness’ would make it a ritual…alas, watch this space, and it just could happen pronto. It’s coming along though, promise.

  9. Kipu Nerek says:

    Thank you for a very clear and helpful post. I am definitely a violator of many of these rules. I often find myself conflicted when writing a blog post because I see myself writing more than people want to read, but I feel that I have to do the subject matter justice by thoroughly covering it. I feel that by following some of these rules I end up cutting out important aspects to the discussion. I guess you have to find a balance.