The blog theme for March is procrastination, which probably means it will never happen!
Procrastination is putting off doing something important to work on something trivial; or not work on anything at all. We are told this is a bad thing. But we are also told everyone procrastinates. So how can something that everyone does be bad? In fact procrastination could be good if it puts off doing something important for long enough that it ceases to be important anymore.
But procrastination does become bad when it hurts your business. Here are 7 such scenarios:
- You avoid picking up the phone to call an upset client. You will do it later today. And then you realize that tomorrow becomes today. The result of your procrastination ~ you lose a client who tells 10 other people what an awful experience they had with your company.
- You don’t deal with the employee whose performance is below standard. Time to procrastinate. You persuade yourself that as time passes his performance will improve. It doesn’t and things go from bad to worse. In frustration your star employee leaves.
- You are having cash flow problems and are unable to make the HST payment this month. You know you should call HST and you will; tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes and the call is never made. The HST people get mad and start hounding you, which takes more of your time and energy than the telephone call would have done.
- You meet an excellent prospect at a networking event. Her needs will be met perfectly by your product and the two of you get along like life long friends. You promise to call next day to set up a time to meet again. Back at the office life takes over and you put off making the call. A week goes by before the call is made only to discover she has gone with your competitor.
- The company’s tax returns have come back from the accountant in plenty of time to meet the filing date. You could review them right now and if everything is in order mail them. But finishing the design of your new workshop is more important and much more fun. Procrastination kicks in and the tax returns are forgotten until well past the filing date. The result; a hefty and avoidable penalty from the tax department.
- You are to be interviewed on a TV show that your ideal clients watch. This is a wonderful opportunity. To prepare for the interview you know you should read the articles you have written and familiarize yourself with past blog topics. But that takes time; lot’s of it. As the interview starts the questions are easy and you relax. Then the questions refer back to past articles. Articles you have long forgotten about. You start to stumble and the experience becomes horrible. An opportunity has been lost.
- You know that processes should be documented to avoid errors. But documenting processes is boring and easily avoided. So you procrastinate and the inevitable happens. Your outsourced VA does your bank reconciliation and cash flow management. The process is not documented and one month he makes a big mistake. A mistake that causes you to think there is more cash available than there actually is. Cheques start bouncing and irate people start calling.
Next week we will share 7 ways to overcome procrastination. In the meantime remember Robinson Crusoe always had everything done by Friday.