Even the best of us are guilty of procrastinating from time to time. And who could blame us? Putting something off until tomorrow is far more tempting than having to worry about it today. But indulging your tendency to procrastinate can quickly become a holding pattern. In the competitive and results-driven world of sales, procrastination can spell disaster on the road ahead.
Although many people consider procrastination to be a symptom of laziness, that’s not necessarily true. As Thought Catalog’s David Cain points out, procrastination is more likely to be a “neurotic self-defence behaviour that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth”, rather than a sign of endemic laziness or poor work ethic.
A business is made up of individuals, each of whom has their own passions and interests. For example, some people prefer the adrenaline rush of closing sales while others prefer the innovation and creative thinking required for preparing campaign strategies. It’s only natural to gravitate towards the things we enjoy over other tasks, completing them first while side-lining the tasks we don’t enjoy as much (account management tasks and administrative tasks are usually a victim of this pleasure-prioritisation).
So how can we go about tackling our tendencies towards procrastination and make a habit of productivity? First, we need to find out what’s stopping us from reaching our targets and diverting our attention elsewhere. Thankfully, Parcel Hero has created an infographic that intends to solve this particular problem. Based on research and insights from the world’s leading experts on procrastination, their infographic identifies what’s stopping you from starting and easily actioned advice to remedy the problem.
Follow the flow chart below to find out which type of procrastinator you might be.
If you’re a daredevil procrastinator, that means you like to live dangerously. You’re most likely to put off your work until the last minute, using the adrenaline rush from a looming deadline to power you through. That proposal follow-up doesn’t need to be sent until the end of the day, so where’s the harm in starting it at 3:00PM? Rather than turning in rushed work, the trick is to be strict with yourself: set yourself daily goals, tight deadlines and self-regulate with penalties for not meeting these targets.
Self-saboteurs are their own worst enemies. Everything suddenly becomes an obstacle to starting work, pushing the stress levels into the red and preventing the task from being completed. Before starting, try listing the potential obstacles that might get in your way and planning countermeasures for them. For example, deciding to only check your phone when you’re on a break or lunch to remove it as constant distraction.
The ostrich likes to stick their head in the sand, ignoring the tasks at hand and abdicating any responsibility to make important decisions. In your subconscious, you might think you won’t be judged and are less likely to fail. Thinking positively and boosting your confidence will help. Think affirmative thoughts, e.g. instead of thinking “I can’t do it”, think “I will do this!”
Chickens are too scared to make up their mind. Rather than risk making the wrong decision, you’d rather let other people make the big decisions for you. Big tasks might seem initially overwhelming, but try breaking them down into smaller, easier sections. This will make the decisions and work involved seem much more manageable, relieving the pressure and being able to devote time accordingly.
The perfectionist will only ever settle for perfection, which is entirely unrealistic. Perfectionists are ruled by what others think of them, struggling to begin working as they need to be sure they’ll be safe from criticism. Set yourself reasonable targets that are manageable and realistic. Perfection is impossible, but you can learn from mistakes.
Which type of procrastinator are you and what can you do to achieve your goals in a realistic and possible way? Source