3 Essential Tips to Avoid and Overcome the Procrastination Pitfall in Your Business
Member feature : by Corné Morrison of VA Connect
I’m pretty confident we’ve all gone down this road before one time or another! Or should I rather say these mountains of distraction? If you’re seeing the humour in this map, like I am then I’m willing to bet it’s because on some level you can identify with this trap that entrepreneurs so often fall into.
In today’s blog, we’re going to determine what procrastination is, we are going to identify key factors that contribute to procrastination and we are going to look at ways in which to combat procrastination in our business’.
What is procrastination and am I a procrastinator?
Procrastination is defined as: “the action of delaying or postponing something”.
Now I could go on and on, about the different symptoms which procrastinators usually display. Symptoms like, having trouble with transitions or change at work, focussing on non-essential office work instead of getting things done or simply religiously adding to that growing to-do list – never actually crossing anything off – BUT I’m not. Instead, I’m going to ask you only ONE question. Yup, only one! I’m positive we’ll be able to identify a procrastinator with one question – even though there are different levels of procrastination.
Drum roll, please…. Let’s look at the next all too familiar scene.
It is the first of July and tax season is officially open.
Choose from the following options:
A Your tax return is submitted within the first week
B You captured your tax return, saved it and first wanted to confirm you haven’t missed anything.
C It’s tax season already!! O gosh, did I reply to my accountant’s email about last year’s return? Now, why can’t I remember?
D We’ve still got ages to get everything together. Phew, thank goodness for e-filing. I should just remember to put it on my to-do list then I’ll be OK.
So, I don’t even need to tell you if you chose C or D you have a positive match for procrastination, right?
Key contributing factors to procrastination
I’m not going to spend much time on what contributes to this deadly pitfall for our business’ growth. The three factors that stand out the most to me is firstly a false sense of security, secondly excuses and thirdly the fact that we’re often in denial of how bad the situation really is. That is until you are neck deep in that panic-induced state you claim to be productivity under pressure.
Let’s not kid ourselves any longer. Let’s tackle that to-do list before that panic starts bubbling in the pit of your stomach.
Overcoming procrastination doesn’t have to be the mountain we make it out to be. However, I am not going to tell you it’s going to be easy either. Like anything in life that’s worthwhile, it’s going to take work, dedication, a bit of planning and determination.
So, who’s ready to get practical?
#1 Focus on your “why”
Make sure you look at the long-term benefit of “why” you need to accomplish this task, instead of just looking at the short-term benefit of postponing the task in favour of some non-essential task that catches your attention right now.
#2 Get out your calendar and “make” time
Those tasks you put off until “you’ve got time”, hardly ever gets done. If it’s a project you are working on, then you need to realise you’ll have to schedule it for you to be successful in accomplishing it. You’ll need to block out certain slots of time in order to accomplish the goal.
#3 Break down the task or project into smaller tasks
Sub-divide your tasks or projects. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed simply because the goal seems unattainable. Divide and conquer!
Or one of my other favourites is …
How do you eat an elephant? Piece by piece!
Be careful not to succumb to the excuses or the false sense of security that makes procrastination such a pitfall for all of us. However that being said, from time to time we all make that mistake…again. Don’t beat yourself up. Get back to your goals and make sure your goals are manageable. Most importantly, cling to your sense of humour and eat the elephant – piece by piece!
Until next time, ciao!
For more about Corné and how VA Connect can assist your business, please do visit our members page.