Procrastination is the Enemy of Success
As small business owners, we all need to get things done. Lots of things. We know that we set the example for our employees, and how we carry ourselves affects the entire culture of the company. But despite this, procrastination still affects all of us!
You may think that procrastinating is just time wasting, but the short and long term consequences of it can go way beyond this. It doesn’t just waste your time. Procrastination affects the performance of your business. It is one of the nastiest bad habits that every one of us has to fight against on a daily basis.
Here are some of the areas where procrastination can hurt your business:
- Procrastination affects your business by making you miss opportunities! If someone asks you to do something, like writing going to a networking event, collaborate on a project, or refers a client to you, but it’s outside of your comfort zone, don’t say no or put it off! Say yes! Especially if it’s something that aligns to your values and your vision. It may be a little scary, but you can work on that later! Say yes to opportunities or someone else will, and they’re unlikely to knock twice! This is definitely one area not to procrastinate on!
Disappointing Customer Experience
- As small business owners, we often need to fulfill many roles. One that will always be of paramount importance is the satisfaction of our customers. After all, without customers, we have no business. Sometimes, if we put off certain tasks, the knock-on effect is that other tasks get delayed – sometimes for a long time if they rely on the previous tasks being done! Additionally, we often procrastinate over ‘boring’ tasks, but these tasks can also often be the nuts and bolts of our systems. And these tasks can be those that allow us to keep up to date with client communications and experience. And procrastinating over any tasks that relate to, or could impact on other client relationship or satisfaction tasks is a big no-no.
- Procrastination can and does have a huge effect on confidence. It can also encourage feelings of Imposter Syndrome. When we procrastinate and put things off, it can often lead to a louder internal chatter. Chatter that talks us out of things or tells us we are not good enough. But to run a small business well, you need confidence. Without it, we just can’t put ourselves out there. It’s too painful. So keep an eye on your internal chatter and make sure your procrastination isn’t responsible for your deteriorating or faltering confidence. On the flip side, getting on and doing things builds our confidence!
- Too much procrastination can lead to less passion and enthusiasm for, and enjoyment in your business, which in turn can result in less sales. People buy people, so your enthusiasm and love for what you’re offering and what you do is vital! By procrastinating and overthinking, you can gradually erode that passion you hold, and what is left can come across as non-committal and a bit vague.
Procrastination also creates a vicious cycle of stress. Deadlines eventually arrive, and next thing you know you are feeling the pressure to deliver and complete 8 hours of work in 30 minutes because earlier in the week you spent 8 hours doing 30 minutes of work! This takes control away from you and your day. Instead being able to be proactive and focus on the important tasks that will help your business succeed, you are constantly putting out fires. Fires you created! When the fire is put out you are so worn out mentally (and/or physically) that you decide you need a “break” for a while. That break turns into more procrastination which eventually turns into more fires to be put out and the cycle continues.
Your employees also see this behavior. No one enjoys working for a “Do as I say, not as I do” type person. The example you set for your team inevitably affects their performance, confidence, and enthusiasm. When the team sees that the owner is constantly putting off the important tasks that shows what is expected of them. If you reprimand employees for the same behaviors you are exhibiting that will eventually lead to resentment and disappointing results.
Procrastination makes easy things hard and hard things harder. There are some really amusing quotes about procrastination that will make you smile and laugh, but I promise you a successful business will make you even happier. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Be proactive. Take the first step. Reap the rewards.