Are You Procrastinating?
I am sure that you are all familiar with procrastination - i.e. putting off doing things that are important and doing something more enjoyable or easier instead.
But, have you really considered what the costs of procrastinating are to you and your business
-If you put off something for too long you may miss out on opportunities. How often do you get that big product or marketing idea, procrastinate, then find the competitors have got there first?
-Procrastination is a big time waster. Your time is money and you need to spend it productively.
-It may stop you achieving your business goals or slow your progress towards your goals.
-Leaving things until they are urgent can result in mistakes and low customer satisfaction.
-Procrastination can have a negative impact on your emotions, increasing worry and stress.
You need to recognise the signs of procrastination to be able to do something about it. Do you recognise any of these in yourself?
-Being very busy or always having something urgent to do so you never do the important tasks.
-Being a perfectionist and not wanting to start a task until everything is just so.
-Leaving a task because you feel overwhelmed by it, whether it be due to the size of the task or because you feel you don't have the skills or resources to complete it.
-Always staying within your comfort zone and never tackling the more challenging tasks.
-Feeling that it needs to be the right time or that you need to be in the right mood.
-Fearing that you will fail or even fearing success.
-Finding that you are making a drink or looking at your emails instead of completing an important task.
Understanding why you are procrastinating will help you decide how to stop. You may be putting up emotional barriers, being complacent, fearing failure, avoiding discomfort or feeling that being busy is good for your business.
Stopping procrastinating is one of the areas that I work with clients on to help them become more productive, focused and successful in both their business and personal life. So how do you stop procrastinating?
-Have clear business and personal goals that align with your values.
-Keep focused on your goals at all times.
-Identify the key tasks you need to do and when you will do them to achieve your goals.
-Prioritise these tasks and be prepared to reprioritise them as things change.
-Break down large tasks into smaller more manageable tasks. Start on the easier tasks first.
-Identify the value of completing the tasks e.g. more money, time, fun, less stress etc.
-Use the value and benefits of completing the tasks as motivation.
-Use good time management and organisational skills at all times.
-Try and make tasks more enjoyable and give yourself rewards for achieving them.
-Imagine how you will feel when the task is completed to motivate you.
-Tell other people what you are doing so they can help and encourage you.
Procrastination may be impacting you and your business by much more than you initially thought. Hopefully this article will have increased your awareness of the impact it can have and given you some ideas on how to stop procrastinating.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: March 2007
Through Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management, Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. If you are looking for a business coach, business mentor or help with stress please contact Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.
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