Have you ever procrastinated on something? Of course you have; we all do it at one time or another and some of us suffer from procrastination more than others. If you’re an entrepreneur, procrastination can have some detrimental effects on both you and your organization. Not to worry, there are several straightforward strategies to reduce and eliminate procrastination.
How Procrastination Affects You
We procrastinate for a variety of reasons. Several of them include:
- Fear – we’re worried that the task is going to be complex, we’re going to fail at it, it’s going to be disagreeable, and so on.
- Disinterest – it’s easy to procrastinate when you’re faced with doing something that you simply don’t feel like doing. However, if everyone did that, the dishes would always be dirty and the laundry would pile up.
- Expectations – this parallels fear. When someone is expecting something from us and we’re nervous about not meeting their expectations, it can cause procrastination.
Regardless of the reasons we procrastinate, the conclusion is always the same. We end up in nail biting, sweat inducing crunch time. Now, instead of a week or a month to get something accomplished, we’ve left only a day or even an hour. This creates incredible amounts of unnecessary stress. The stress that procrastination creates is bad for our physical and emotional wellbeing. We can become drained because we don’t take care of ourselves, and some major consequences can be insomnia, depression, and binge eating.
Burn, Baby, Burn
Procrastination also creates burnout. It becomes a vicious circle. You procrastinate because you’re burned out and exhausted and then when you’re under pressure it only prolongs that feeling. The final result is that you’re no longer finding pleasure in what you’re doing and you don’t want to do it. You don’t have the same sense of excitement or enjoyment in your activities and you’re no longer enthusiastic and positive.
Procrastination also diminishes productivity. When you procrastinate and then are forced to finish the job quickly, the task usually takes much longer to complete because you’re not focusing on it with energy and enthusiasm. You are only focused on completing the task. It becomes a mad dash for the finish line. This uncomfortable scurry usually leads to mistakes which can damage your reputation and ultimately your business.
Effects of Procrastination
Procrastination, as we’ve already talked about, can cause a lack of productivity, burnout and stress. It can also lead to a second-rate final product. If you don’t take pleasure in what you’re doing, you’re troubled about the outcome or you have to hustle through it, the end result can be something you’re just not proud of. And procrastination can also make you lose enthusiasm for an occupation you once loved.
Procrastination can be reduced and/or eliminated by digging deep and discovering the reasons behind your procrastinating. If it’s due to fear, then you’ll need to determine if it’s a legitimate fear and how you are going to tackle it.
If you’re procrastinating because you dislike the task, create a solution. You could:
- Outsource the task to a coworker,
- Construct a system that eliminates the task, or
- Find a way to embrace the task and get it done.
Procrastination is something that everyone has to deal with from time to time. Learn to understand and control your procrastination tendencies and you will eliminate its effect on you and your business.
Certified Professional Business Coach
SavvyGals Coaching & Consulting, LLC