When there are so many tasks at hand, it is not only challenging to know which to start with, but it can also be tricky to steer clear of procrastination. Running a business is one long to-do list, and a never-ending conveyor belt of organization and time management. With that in mind, recognizing procrastination and how to avoid it is the beginning of a more productive system.
At its core, procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something important in favor of finding other, less critical tasks to fulfill. This creeps into every aspect of life, but rarely does it have the damaging effect that it does in business.
How it damages business
Procrastination damages business by lowering productivity. Imagine being surrounded by a thousand distractions, each tearing your attention away from the matter at hand. That, at times, is what an overdose of procrastination feels like.
It leads to missed deadlines and late responses to queries from customers, resulting in a breakdown in the relationships that make businesses successful. This can lead to a loss of sales, a downturn in the number of repeat customers you receive, and possibly even bad public relations.
Therefore, reducing procrastination is incredibly essential. The following techniques could improve your productivity and remove distractions from your management style.
Set daily targets
Setting manageable, daily targets can be an excellent way of reducing the amount you procrastinate. Writing a list of activities that you must complete before the day is out will focus your efforts; as you check your list throughout the day, you can measure your progress and see that you do not have time to commit to those tiny, menial tasks that you sometimes allow to get in the way.
Being aware of your deadlines is vital; sometimes, being aware of your daily targets and tasks is just as important.
Purchase a business
As stated by those who aid business acquisition, purchasing a business can sometimes mean you have less procrastination-encouraging activities in front of you. If you are starting a business from scratch, the number of unimportant items on your tick-list that you focus on rattling through rather than dealing with the bigger, more critical activities is vast. However, when purchasing a pre-existing business, these smaller tasks are removed, and the necessity to get on with the broader, more pressing challenges is greater.
Using analytics and surveys, you should measure productivity within your business and within your own personal work. If you measure productivity, you can see where you need to improve in terms of focus and work rate. It may turn out that you work better at different times of day, meaning you should work harder at eradicating procrastination during the periods that your productivity tends to be lowest.
Set working hours
Many business owners work from home. If they don’t, they often take their work home with them, meaning they never truly switch off. This is a bad idea for rest and recuperation and will put additional stress on your mind and body.
When running a business, set working hours for yourself both so that you are disciplined when working from home – not having too many lie-ins or extended lunch breaks – and so that you do not burn out by working for too long. Limiting your work time means that you have to focus more and procrastinate less.