If you find yourself putting things off, the culprit may be a weak sense of identity rather than a weak will.
When you put off tasks that are important for the betterment of your business, do you beat yourself up for having a weak will?
It may feel like your inability to push yourself to do the unpleasant but unnecessary is to blame when you procrastinate, but psychology suggests there actually may be another culprit: your identity… or lack thereof.
What does identity have to do with procrastination? According to research done by one of Pychyl's grad students Matthew Shanahan having a less firm sense of the one leads to more of the other.
"Ego identity development was negatively correlated with procrastination. That means, the more achieved the identity, the more the participants knew who they were, the lower their scores on the measures of procrastination," Pychyl explains.
But I'm Not a Teenager Anymore
The moral of the story for Pychyl is that "we all have to 'grow up' a bit to decrease our procrastination." That's good news for frustrated parents of teens and deadline-challenged college students, but what does that have to do with business owners? You are, after all, not some teenager currently experimenting with a new goth look or vegan diet.
But while your fundamental identity as a person in general may long since have been sealed, if you're relatively new to entrepreneurship, your sense of yourself as a genuine business owner could still be tentative. When embarking on a new career path, it's common to feel like you're somehow faking it—that you don't really have the right to the identity you're claiming.
JESSICA STILLMAN is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist. @EntryLevelRebel