Procrastination can basically be described as delaying or putting off doing something unpleasant or difficult and completing easier or more pleasant tasks instead. We can all procrastinate at times but when it becomes a chronic habit that diminishes your effectiveness, it is time to address it. If, as a business owner, you don’t deal with procrastination, you may find yourself ‘chasing your tail’ and failing to meet those all-important deadlines with which your brand growth and business strategy depends.
If, for instance, you don’t get your business plan submitted to potential funders on time, they may not invest. And, if you keep delaying completion of projects, your brand may not be looked upon favourably and you won’t be respected or trusted. Potential venture partnerships may be jeopardised if you don’t complete tasks when you say you will. You may even fail to secure contracts because you give a less than impressive presentation because you rushed it, or because you didn’t finish the application on time. Be honest, would you be prepared to enter into a partnership or offer a contract to someone with a poor reputation for not completing projects on time?
Are you a habitual procrastinator?
- Do you find yourself becoming frantic over an impending deadline?
- Do you often miss deadlines?
- Do you submit less than your best work due to ‘rushing’ to meet deadlines?
- Do you submit presentations, funding applications, etc. late?
- Do you ignore or postpone the most difficult tasks on your To-Do list?
- Do you delay making difficult decisions?
- Do you make excuses for not making deadlines?
If any of the above resonates with you, then your effectiveness is more than likely reduced because of procrastination.
There are various negative attributes given as to why people procrastinate, e.g.,fear of failure, laziness, self-sabotaging, not skilled enough, disorganised, etc. For some people, procrastination has become so debilitating that they are unable to undertake certain roles in their work and/or in their life.
Thankfully, for the majority of us, there are ways we can deal with procrastination; for example:
- Planning well in advance of deadlines
- Creating a To-Do list and tackling the unpleasant or difficult tasks first
- Breaking bigger projects into manageable steps
- Delegating where possible
By breaking the habit of procrastination, you will become more productive in the day-to-day running of your business; practicing and applying more efficient time management skills on a daily basis will help.