One of the best parts about owning your own business is that you get to be your own boss. You set the priorities, and you determine how and when to approach them. I know I enjoy the autonomy and flexibility – what about you?

The flip side (which most business owners don’t foresee), is that being your own boss means that there is no external pressure compelling you to get things done on time. Even the pressure of keeping your customers happy only forces you to do just enough to satisfy them for the moment.

As a result, the “less pressing” (but very important) tasks like innovation and strategic planning are continually put off. Be honest—right now, how many projects are you neglecting? If you’re being honest, most of you will admit to at least a couple.

Procrastination has the ability to crush your great ideas while they are still seeds in your mind. Procrastination will keep you from taking the steps necessary to grow your business if you let it. Below are four steps to help you defeat procrastination and accomplish those tasks that always seem to get “pushed off” to the next day.

  1. Schedule time each day for “big picture” projects. The most obvious reason that important projects aren’t done is because you “can’t find the time.” That’s the excuse, but I don’t buy it– you can always make time to meet with a potential client, right? Treat your big-picture objectives just like a client—schedule time each day to work on them, even if it’s only 30 minutes per day.

  2. Prioritize and execute. You’re full of great ideas. (That’s why you started your own business, most likely.) The challenge is prioritizing them. Take the time to make a list and determine which projects provide the highest payoff. These are the projects to prioritize.

  3. Find accountability. Whether it’s a friend, family member, coach, or colleague, finding someone to hold you accountable. Simply commit to having a conversation once each week to report your progress. In many cases, the knowledge that you’ll have to “’fess up” to your procrastination is enough to get you moving.

Running a business is tough – I understand, I’ve been there and done that! But if you’re going to create a world-class business, you need to find the discipline and the motivation to commit to working ON your business, not just in it. Procrastination will keep you focused on just the “bare minimum” and will keep you from growing your business if you allow it to. Don’t let it happen!