The 6-Step Program to Overcome Your Procrastination Problem (Starting With Admitting It!)

The 6-Step Program to Overcome Your Procrastination Problem (Starting With Admitting It!)

3 min read
Chris Clothier

Chris Clothier began building his rental portfolio in 2003 as a successful entrepreneur looking to diversify his investments. He quickly gravitated toward passive investing, establishing a portfolio of over 50 single family homes in Memphis, Tenn. As an original client of his family’s firm Memphis Invest (now REI Nation), Chris experienced firsthand what a passive investor endures when purchasing out of state. In 2007, Chris moved his company and family back to Tennessee, wound down his brokering company, and joined REI Nation as a partner and director of sales and marketing.

Since joining REI Nation, the business has grown into the premier turnkey investment company in the country and a standard bearer for best practices in the industry, managing over 6,000 investment properties for 2,000 passive clients. In addition to managing the development and implementation of sales and marketing processes, Chris serves as an ambassador for the company, working with the team to help potential investors define their purpose for investing in real estate and educating peer companies on best practices.

REI Nation clients’ portfolios hold a value of close to $800 million in single family assets in seven cities. The company has been featured as a six-straight year honoree in Inc. magazine’s list of the 500/5,000 “Fastest Growing Companies in America.”

In 2019, Chris’ team assisted 600 investors with purchasing just under 1,000 fully-renovated and occupied turnkey homes. Chris led the re-brand of his family’s company on January 1, 2020, from Memphis Invest to REI Nation.

Chris is also an experienced real estate speaker and addresses small and large audiences of real estate investors and business professionals nationwide several times each year, including IMN single family conferences, the PM Grow property management conference, and the Ignite conference in Las Vegas each December.

Chris continues to hold a sizable single-family rental portfolio in both Tennessee and Texas. Along with his family, he owns several commercial buildings in the greater Memphis area.

When not working with the team at REI Nation, Chris is busy raising five kids, operating a racing company in Memphis, and serving as CEO for The Cancer Kickers Soccer Club, a Memphis-based 501c3 providing comfort and care for kids battling childhood cancers.

Founded in 2017 by Chris and Michelle Clothier, the non-profit organization focuses on providing a team environment for kids to find encouragement and strength in their battle. The company worked with over 500 children from six countries in 2019.

Chris has been featured in stories published in Money Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and DN News, as well as the Memphis Business Journal. In 2018, McGraw-Hill Publishing purchased Chris’ manuscript, The Turnkey Revolution, and worked with Chris to publish his first book in May 2018.

Chris also publishes two weekly blogs at and Chris has also published articles on the BiggerPockets Blog since 2009.


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Ah, procrastination. It’s a big issue for at least 20 percent of people in the United States, according to psychologists. Most of us think of procrastination as just putting off work, but it can be more than that. Procrastination means coupons expire, gift cards go unused, and the laundry gets done only when the clean clothes run out.

Procrastination is missing out on an opportunity. If you’ve ever struggled with procrastination personally or professionally, it can be stressful and frustrating, especially when you don’t know why you keep doing it.

For the real estate investor, seizing the opportunity is at the forefront of your responsibilities. Overcoming your patterns of procrastination will take time and small, consistent efforts. When you examine why you procrastinate and discover what gets you motivated, you’ll finally be able to achieve your true potential as a real estate investor.


Why We Procrastinate

Psychologists would name a great many factors behind procrastination, but for our purposes, we’ll focus on three that can specifically plague professionals:

Related: 4 Steps to Supercharge Your Productivity With Scrum Project Management

We Feel Overwhelmed

Feeling like we don’t know where to start because a task is complicated, has a lot of stages and moving parts, or has a lot riding on it is a big source of procrastination and a barrier to success. When a task seems too big and daunting, we’re more likely to put it off, especially if we’re going at it alone.

We Feel Inadequate

When we feel like we don’t have the skills, knowledge, or resources to achieve, it’s easy to procrastinate. A lack of confidence, however, isn’t a good reason to not try. Investing in real estate is very much a learning experience, not only from other professionals but from working in the proverbial trenches ourselves. Don’t allow a lack of experience to hold you back. Everyone has to earn experience themselves, over time.

We Feel Afraid

A fear of failure is a very real barrier to procrastinators. Obviously, we don’t want to lose money. We don’t want our efforts to feel wasted. A fear of success can also be paralyzing; success often brings with it higher expectations and the notion of “the higher you are, the further you fall.”

Procrastinators would rather try and maintain a comfortable status quo, rather than change it and risk failure or the responsibilities, attention, and pressures that come with success.


How We Can Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity

Recognize Your Distractions of Choice

First things first: Recognize when you procrastinate. Do you spend too much time drafting your emails or to-do lists? Do you agonize over tiny details that shouldn’t take all that much time? How often do your thoughts wander? Do you click on one genuinely helpful article and end up getting lost down the rabbit hole? How long and how often do you check social media during the day?

Recognizing what you allow to distract you is one of the first steps to overcoming procrastination.

Stop Lying to Yourself

  • “I work better under pressure.”
  • “I can’t start until _______.”
  • “I can just do this tomorrow.”

Procrastinators have perfected the art of lying to themselves. Whether it’s arbitrarily deciding they work better under pressure (they don’t) or making up things to do before doing the thing that actually matters, this self-deception only encourages procrastination.

Meet the Goals You Set

Follow-through is important for everyone, but particularly so for professionals. For real estate investors, not meeting your goals doesn’t just hurt your aspirations, but depending on what it is, it can damage your reputation. That’s why it’s so important to meet the goals you set, starting with the things you can do today.

Related: 9 Tips for Working More Productively in Real Estate While Holding Down a 9-5

Start Small

If you as a procrastinator write down big, lofty goals and give yourself a hard deadline, you’re almost guaranteed to be setting yourself up for failure. Instead of planning big, start small. Make an achievable to-do list. Tackle big projects in small chucks. Reward yourself for the little victories, not just the big wins.

Mind Your Environment

Is your working environment conducive to increasing your productivity? Are you working at the kitchen table or in an office? How many extra distractions are in your environment? Windows, people, screens, uncomfortable furniture (or too comfortable furniture) can all be big distractions for us. If you find yourself losing focus where you are, change it up. Set hard “office hours” for yourself, even if you’re doing work from home.

Practice Positivity

For people dealing with procrastination, it’s easy to beat yourself up when you slip back into old patterns. Remember, it’s a process. Instead of lamenting a missed deadline you set for yourself, celebrate the little wins. Muster your determination to do better next time. If you allow your failures to rule you, you’re not going to be able to reach the productivity you need.

Investors: How do YOU avoid putting off those big tasks you don’t feel like tackling?

Let me know with a comment!

Ah, procrastination. It’s a big issue for at least 20 percent of people in the United States, according to psychologists. Most of us think of procrastination as just putting off […]