It’s March – did that just strike fear into your heart? Yep, depending on what day you read this, it’s more than 1/6th of the way through the year. Remember those plans you had for new projects, growth, taking “Fridays off” just to show that you really are in charge of your time? How are you going with those? Smashing it? Really?
Don’t worry; you’re not alone in not having gotten your head completely into your business game as yet. In fact, university research shows you’re likely to be in some good company with one in five people being found to be a chronic procrastinator. And just in case you’re wondering that figure is the same regardless of your global location. And those numbers are rising (thank you internet and cat/dog videos).
That’s a lot of people who are routinely putting off important things in life – like changing up your old non-responsive website, making those client calls, doing the work that actually produces the revenue.
Procrastinators delay things to feel better in the moment, but often at the expense of the longer term – not just in business, but in all areas of life, including social, financial, personal and professional. They often delay things in ways that can wreak havoc, produce ongoing shame, and/or undermine their life/business goals. Where you sit on the procrastinator scale depends on how often you procrastinate and the severity of consequences. If you’re missing deadlines or blowing off business opportunities – for whatever reason, chances are you’re at the pointy end of that scale.
In short, brains (yours, mine and everyone’s) prefers the immediate reward. Need to get stuck into that hard project? But wait, it’s more fun, right now, to get a coffee, watch that video, chat to a friend. Plus we overcompensate for the willpower of our future selves. You, tomorrow (you think) will be a far stronger, more resolute business owner capable mammoth work intensities.
Plus you’re more likely to procrastinate when you’re tired, stressed, overwhelmed or worried about failing. And then there’s the stuff that we flat out don’t like doing – which as it turns out has an easier fix.
Beating procrastination is a must if you want to see your small business make its (and your) goals for this year. Enough reading. Pick a tip and start now.
Roland Farrugia, SOI Virtual Receptionist & Virtual Office Solutions Advisor, Serviced Offices International