If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know one or more people who just never seem to get around to “doing” much. But they always have good reasons that usually go something like this:
“My business is different so that won’t work for me and nobody understands it the way I do anyhow so when the time is right I certainly do plan on trying that but I’m not so sure it will work anyhow because I already tried it once and maybe there’s something nobody is telling me that I need to know and money is tight right now and my sister is having the baby so I should probably wait and then I’ll have more time and make sure that no one will steal my idea and take some computer classes and that stuff is expensive and I’ll probably end up no better off than I am right now but I’m definitely going to do that… someday.”
Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Most of us are guilty of putting things off ‘ even if we acknowledge that doing so may hurt us ‘ physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, or otherwise.
However, for some procrastinating is a way of life… and if left unchecked will make it nearly impossible to create a profitable business. That’s why it’s imperative to uncover the reasons and learn ways to end it once and for all. And while they vary, professionals believe that someone is more likely to put tasks off if they are uncertain about their ability to get the desired results; unclear about the process; view the task as dull, time-consuming or irrelevant; or feel that they lack the necessary skills, knowledge, or tools to complete it.
It’s easy to recognize believers because they…
– Put things off, and off, and off…
– Invent excuses for avoiding action
– Feel more comfortable talking, than doing
– Worry obsessively about “what-ifs”
– Exhibit conflicting intentions…
Which results in…
– Lack of progress
– “Emergencies” caused by waiting until the last minute
– Sloppy work and unnecessary rework
– Unnecessary stress and rework
– Lost opportunities
– Lack of confidence
And in this rough-and-tumble business world it is common to find people who put things off because their ability to achieve their goals are misaligned with the amount of effort and resources they’re willing, or able, to donate. Without going into too much detail, it’s these “conflicting intentions” which cause their inertia. An example of this is someone who wants to make earn $100,000 in revenues during their first year in business… so long as they only have to work two hours a day. You get the idea.
Okay, it’s time to ‘fess up… I’ve written more than my share of marketing plans and I’ve witnessed their positive impact time and time again. But when it comes to getting starting I can still come up with a gazillion reasons why I should be doing something, anything, else.
It usually goes something like this, “This is such a waste of time, I am sick to death of doing this over and over again, and after all I’m the marketing guru and I already have all this stuff in my head so why do I need to write it down, that’s for all the other people who don’t know as much as me, plus I have all this other stuff to do and if I take time out to do that then everything else is going to back up and then I’ll have to work even longer to make up that work and that will put me further behind and then I need to pay for whatever and that will mean that that will be late so then I won’t be able to send out my payment on time which will mean that those people will be mad and report me, then I’ll get bad credit and that will stay on my permanent record for life and then when I have money problems, and I certainly will, I won’t be able to get any credit so I’ll have to sell my house, which will take forever, and then move, which will take more time away from the business getting me even deeper in trouble so I won’t be able to pay for stuff and then I’ll get thrown out on the street, penniless where I’ll die from starvation and hypothermia so I better forget it this one time and just go on with getting things done.” Sound familiar?
A great way to help overcome procrastination is to promise yourself that you will stop making excuses, and act; ask a trusted friend or family member to become your accountability partner; define more acceptable standards of performance and get organized ‘ eat those elephants one bite at a time!