Your Biggest Threat to Business GrowthJuly 6, 2022 2022-11-04 15:51
Your Biggest Threat to Business Growth
Your Biggest Threat to Business Growth
Why is procrastination the the threat to business owners? We all know deep down that it stops our businesses from reaching their full potential. It makes it harder to achieve our goals like financial independence, leaving a legacy, and truly enjoying our work.
But, in true procrastination style, that’s a problem we can tackle tomorrow.
So let me ask you these questions instead:
- Have you been putting off calling the network to find more work?
- Have you been avoiding asking for referrals?
- Have you felt yourself get a little too comfortable with where you are
- Have you found other things to do instead of those all-important needle-moving tasks?
Here’s the crux: You know what you need to do, yet you still can’t do it.
It’s infuriating! Especially when the only thing that kicks you out of procrastination mode is when that finish line gets a little too close for comfort. Only then can you be productive.
We tend to procrastinate when we have little to no energy, which means our emotional drivers are in a trough. If it’s a task you don’t want to do or a decision you don’t want to make, that leads to procrastination.
Procrastination gets in the way of achieving outcomes and earning a reputation for being exceptionally productive. We need to grow a successful business that gives us financial freedom and the time to live life how we want to.
There is an aspect of procrastination that says, ‘I don’t like doing this task’, but the deadline is getting closer, and the consequences of not delivering on that deadline mean you are going to be held to account.
It’s all about deadlines.
Some of us choose to live with this as our strategy and pattern for productiveness. Only once the consequences come closer and get bigger and greater do we act because fear sets in.
Procrastination can sometimes actually be an excellent strategy for short-term productivity. The mind says, ‘I don’t like this task’, so you put it off. Then the fear sets in as you get closer to the deadline, and it kicks you into gear. When you fear a potential negative consequence, adrenaline is released, which acts as a painkiller, allowing you to move forward and execute.
If this is your pattern, the following points and the diagram below illustrates what it looks like:
- You have a deadline, and the consequences of missing it cause fear
- Fear releases adrenalin with endorphins that act as your body’s natural painkiller
- This release of energy gets you moving
Why this patterns fails in the long-run
First, living on a never-ending rollercoaster of fear and relief is terrible for your mental health. Secondly, when this is your go-to pattern, you’re not focusing on getting the work done to the highest standard. You are simply avoiding the negative consequences of not getting the job done. Training yourself to react and behave this way is not a long-term path to productivity and success.
The things you procrastinate about are often the things you don’t enjoy or don’t have clarity about. So, the less alignment you have with your drivers, outcomes, and purpose, the more you will have of procrastination because more unexpected things will happen in your business.
The more time you invest in understanding your strategic plan – at a deep level – and not just your vision, the less you procrastinate.
Having so many things to do when you don’t know where to start can also lead to procrastination. The overwhelming feelings of indecisiveness and insecurity stop you in your tracks.
You can avoid this problem by ensuring you only have the right things to do daily – the critical few things rather than the trivial many.
Procrastination and the quality of work
Procrastination can sometimes be a good strategy for short-term productivity – but it is never an excellent strategy for high-quality work or maximum results, as you can see in the diagram below.
If you have convinced yourself that your best results are achieved when your back is against the wall, that’s a problem because quality and pressure are inversely related.
It’s also a myth – nobody does their best when their back is to the wall.
That’s an excuse people use, so they don’t have to change their patterns. When you complete something in a hurry to avoid consequences, the quality will not be as good as if you had worked in a calm and considerate manner. So this cannot be your pattern.
When quality is required, which is every time in the trades and construction industry, you must do your best thinking. Pressure doesn’t create quality – even with the tasks you’re great at!
- If you do a sub-par job tiling a customer’s kitchen because you’ve procrastinated and now you’re in a rush?
- When you order the wrong parts for a job, and now the pressure’s on because the client wonders when you’ll be completing the work they’ve paid for?
- When you or your team are operating heavy machinery under stress and just focusing on getting the job done as quickly as possible?
It is why procrastination is your worst enemy. You could lose clients, money, or worse.
Imagine if you could develop a working pattern where procrastination was at the first hour and not at the eleventh hour. Imagine if you could take the energy most people only summon when they have to and apply it to everything you do!
You don’t need a looming deadline for motivation. You can change your mindset to focus on the beginning of a task rather than on end (as most people do).
Learning a new skill, accomplishing something with a passion, and building a business require thriving tasks. Thrive tasks are precious actions that don’t have deadlines, with no adverse consequences.
But you’ve built a business, so you’re not a procrastinator. You’ve got into a pattern that is becoming a habit. One that needs breaking. Because thrive tasks are what will elevate your business.
To break this cycle, it all comes back to purpose. Without a clear sense, you’ll have nothing to push you through the procrastination to ensure you thrive tasks get done.
Understanding your purpose to manage your time
How do you judge the value of time? Some people think that we have plenty of it. And, as we believe we have plenty of it, it doesn’t matter how much we use it, right?
Didn’t you get something finished today? No worries – get to it tomorrow. Sure, that works – today. But that doesn’t help you tomorrow. What makes you think tomorrow will be different if you don’t finish all your tasks today?
If you couldn’t get through all seven of your tasks today, how will you fare when you have nine things to do tomorrow? The likely answer is – not very well at all, as with so many things to do with becoming a productivity diamond, how you manage and value.
Clarifying what you need to achieve your purpose will allow you to manage your time more effectively. You won’t be unsure where to start or what tasks need more attention than others.
Here are three ways you can manage your time, and your team’s time, to be the most productive you can be and move the needle in your business:
As a business owner, your time should yield the highest hourly rate. So it would help if you delegated the lower-value work to your team.
It will help you overcome procrastination because you will have fewer things to do, and you can spend time doing them correctly. Remember, less is more.
Some people in business avoid delegation because it takes time to train people to do new tasks. But it’s a worthwhile short-term investment for long-term results. Delegating tasks to the appropriate team members means you won’t end up with functions continually rolling to the next day. They’ll get done and to a high standard.
Your ability to bring other resources in, and surround yourself with others who will eventually be better than you, is all about giving yourself the freedom to work at your highest hourly rate.
2. Put systems in place
Systems provide predictability, efficiency and effectiveness. They reduce error and confusion while improving speed, productivity, and quality. But the crucial cog many forget about is their people.
Systems always need a human aspect to push through, improve, and innovate continually. It’s humans who ultimately ensure the output. A machine still needs somebody to set it up and press ‘go’. Computers need to be programmed, and devices need operators.
Automation and high tech are essential, but they won’t help you without the right people. The better the execution at your personal best, the better you will be in less time and with less drama.
Many people are on autopilot most of the time. They develop destructive patterns over the years, and while this can keep the wheels turning, it’s not a recipe for a growing and thriving business. Check out our blog on building a winning team to learn how to move your employees up the ladder of accountability and initiative to produce Productivity Diamonds.
3. Managing interruptions
Productivity and the value of time are also heavily influenced by interruptions. Managing interruptions and being diplomatic are crucial for building a harmonious and productive team.
The interruption is coming to you, so it’s your responsibility to manage it smoothly. You can deal with most disruption in one of two ways:
1. Do something now – when somebody interrupts you, is it because they need something to be done now? Can you address this need quickly, and it’s over without further follow-up? If so, then that’s what you do. If not, use the second option.
2. Put it in the calendar – If someone wants to see you and needs a discussion, allocate a separate time for this. As mentioned earlier, you should have time in your default calendar assigned to address unexpected issues that land on your desk.
To manage the expectations of others respectfully, state what you are doing right at that moment when you are interrupted. For example, if you get a phone call and are in the middle of something, say: “I’m just about to finish this proposal; what do you need?” Or, if you get a knock on your door, say: “I’m just preparing for a meeting in half an hour. I can give you five minutes now, or let’s make a time for you to come back”.
You’ve told the person why you must deal with the interruption quickly. When you do this, the person who has interrupted you will know they have to get straight to the point and address the issue soon, or make a time and come back later.
That’s everything for now. Try these three productivity gems to kick yourself out of procrastination mode today.