Is Procrastination Stealing from Your Business?

Do you often feel like you have too many tasks on your plate each day that you become overwhelmed and start to procrastinate? Your are not alone. Read this article to learn new ways to beat procrastination and take back that time to work on your business!

You may not know it, but you are being robbed at this very moment and the culprit is reading this article at this very moment.  It’s you.

If you’ve ever heard the saying “procrastination is the thief of time”, you know that on a daily basis we take valuable time that we can spend completing tasks and use it for something else. Through giving into distractions, we waste our time and decrease our productivity. This can be detrimental to the health and progress of your business. 

Don’t feel alone. Studies say that up to 75% of us procrastinate. We are all guilty of it on at least one occasion.

“Now while everyone procrastinates, not everyone is a procrastinator,” says APS Fellow Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University. Being a procrastinator is being prone to having regular bouts of procrastination episodes. This affects about 20% of adults. 

This is where it can get alarming because being a business owner requires a lot from you and if you are constantly procrastinating your business will suffer greatly. 

Unfortunately, overcoming procrastination is not as simple as flipping a switch. You have to uncover the root of your procrastination. This can look different for everyone, but typically the causes of procrastination can be due to the following or a combination of the following.

  • Fear - The tasks on your plate may feel daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. You may have a fear of doing it incorrectly, which may cause you to put it off.
  • Too Comfortable - If you’re unwilling to leave your comfort zone to complete your to-do list, you are too comfortable. If it’s a task you don’t like to do or don’t do often, you might put off the task in exchange for something you are more comfortable doing.
  • Too Many Options - If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, it may be hard to determine which task to complete first. Additionally, if there are multiple ways you can do a task, you may delay the task in determining which method to use.
  • Lack of Support or Too Many Detractors - You have to be careful of the company you have around. If your team members support you and the business, they will hold you accountable to get tasks completed. If not, they may distract you with unrelated conversation or unproductive activities.
  • Feeling Overwhelmed - If you look at a list of all the things you have to do and start to feel your heart racing or your head spinning, this may be a sign that you are overwhelmed. This is linked to anxiety and stress and can cause us to delay tasks due to the sheer amount of things you have to do.
  • Over Analysis - You may be an overthinker that overestimates the time it may take to complete a task.  
  • Not Enough Information - The task may require additional research, which can seem like another task to add on your plate. You may also hesitate to complete an activity if you feel it won’t be completed accurately.
  • Never had to Make a Decision  - This is especially relevant to business owners and leaders who are in their first few years. There are decisions you’ve never had to make before, and it can be daunting when you consider the affect it can have on your business. 
  • Stubbornness or Ego - You may have the mindset that things will get done eventually because you are already great at what you do. There’s nothing wrong with confidence and acknowledging your skills, but if it prevents you from completing your work, it’s a problem.

You may identify with several, or a combination of, these scenarios. Once you identify the root of your procrastination, you can then begin the process of overcoming them.

You May Have Too Much on Your Plate

We can trace a lot of hesitations back to having too many tasks to complete. As an owner, it’s natural to feel you have to do everything for your business, big or small. In reality, an owner should focus on big picture tasks. You should designate all other tasks to employees, if you have them. If you don’t have confidence in your team to complete the tasks, you should take the time to train them so you can have faith in them. You can read more about training employees in this article here.

You may also be responsible for completing tasks that can also be automated. Thankfully, technology has developed to be an assistant to us in many ways, so there are quite a bit of business process automation services. Some examples include database management, operations management, and customer support. Some of these may cost money, but it may be a small fee to pay when compared to the increase in efficiency it could provide.

Ways to Beat Procrastination

  1. Do a Power Hour -  This is a suggestion that Forbes contributor Vanessa Loder lists. This involves choosing a chunk of your day dedicated to completing one or more tasks. During this time you rid yourself of all distractions - social media, emails, conversations, etc. You spend this allotted amount of time focusing on the tasks you wish to complete. You can start off at 20 minutes or go up to an hour or more. Use the chunk of time doing work followed by a short period of rest. This is a cycle of “do and reward” that matches with natural brain cycles of peaks and valleys. You must follow periods of work with rest for this method to be effective.
  1. Write it Down - If you are keeping your list in your head, it will be easy to forget things. Writing it down on a notepad or planner allows you to prioritize and schedule your tasks to make them more digestible. You can create a plan of attack by dedicating a specific day towards specific tasks.
  1. Start Small - List out all the smaller tasks that will take 10 minutes or fewer to complete. Once you identify them, set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes and get to work completing them one by one. Studies show that once you begin a task, you are more likely to complete it. So even if the task takes longer than the time you thought, what matters is that you sat down and got it done.
  1.  Have an Accountability Partner - Like we mentioned before, be careful of the company you keep around whether employees, friends or colleagues.  Make sure your circle is supportive of you and your business. A part of this is having an accountability partner. This is someone who will follow up with you on your tasks that you need to complete. Declaring your tasks out loud amplifies the appeal to begin the action. 

Consider Business Coaching

Business coaching can be a valuable tool to keep you stay on track to complete all of your responsibilities. ActionCOACH has helped thousands of businesses across the country to increase efficiency, which in return has increased their profits. Besides making sure you complete your to-do list, they can also provide you with valuable information to get started.

Who is Tim Campsall?

I am a certified Business Coach, providing business help, business advice, business coaching and mentoring services to successful and emerging business owners. I have a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.

As your Business Coach and advisor, I will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at optimal levels. Let's schedule a complimentary Business Coaching session to get started.

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Tim Campsall Certified Business Coach

Coach Tim Campsall

Is an award winning trainer, certified Business Coach and business owner of a local ActionCOACH Franchise here in Indiana. He has over 28 years experience running businesses and coaching leaders /teams. He provides business help, business advice, business coaching and mentoring services to successful and emerging business owners. He has a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.