Procrastination seems harmless enough. After all, putting off the tough jobs until later won’t really hurt your productivity, right?
Wrong. What procrastination really means is wasted time. According to one recent study, workers admit to wasting more than two hours every day. That translates into more than $10,000 in lost annual productivity for every employee or $500,000 down the drain every year for companies with 50 employees.
Efficiently running your business means setting a good example for your workers. When they see you avoiding difficult decisions and jobs, they tend to follow suit. Because you’re at the helm, the jobs you avoid are likely to be far more costly to your business than those of your employees.
To change your business, change your habits
The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to change bad habits to good ones. Here are 10 ways to fight procrastination and take control of your business.
1. Understand the reasons
Most often procrastination isn’t laziness. It usually comes from a fear of inadequacy. Remind yourself of the strengths that helped you start a successful business to build the confidence to take on the tough jobs.
2. Start each day with the toughest job
Chances are you’re putting off the most difficult decisions. Make a habit of prioritizing the day’s work, and begin the day by tackling the most important tasks.
3. Commit to time management
Business owners tend to be optimists, and that can mean overestimating the amount of time you have to complete assignments. Create daily schedules with realistic time estimates for each job.
4. Establish realistic goals
Setting the bar too high is a principal cause of procrastination. Know what you can realistically achieve each day, and set your goals accordingly.
5. Clean your office
A disorganized work environment creates excuses for procrastination. Have everything you need to complete a job within easy reach and well organized.
6. Get rid of distractions
Distractions can be anything from a favorite online game to that colleague whose office you visit whenever the going gets tough. Commit to removing these distractions.
7. Expect a few wrong turns
Making mistakes often puts critical jobs on hold. Treat mistakes as a normal part of completing challenging projects, and think of them as learning experiences, not failures.
8. Wean yourself from immediate gratification
It’s okay to want that good feeling that comes from a job well done. Teach yourself to transfer that feeling to the achievement of long-term objectives.
9. Train yourself to go it alone
Don’t run for help the moment you encounter a problem. Discipline yourself to stand on your own two feet when the going gets tough.
10. Reward yourself
Have a plan to reward yourself for completion of challenging tasks. Keeping that reward in mind helps stay you on track.
The success of your business is important to you. You can ensure that success by avoiding procrastination. Make a commitment to tackling the most difficult jobs as they arise and staying the course until you complete them.