Managing Procrastination for Business Owners
You own a small business and rely on your longtime office manager/bookkeeper to handle many important operational and organizational aspects. From reconciling your financial records to paying bills, you trust this individual implicitly. They’re the most tenured employee in your company, which means you have also developed a personal relationship.
Unfortunately, your employee continues to make costly mistakes and has proven to be unfit for the position. For several years, you’ve taken the attitude that it will get better, which sadly it hasn’t. Though the disruption to the operations and financial loss is hurting your company, you can’t bring yourself to terminate her.
A Common Situation For Entrepreneurs
“For some business owners, not making a decision is easier than having the tough conversations,” said George R. Gerhard, Managing Partner of Trivium Point Advisory, a financial services and business consulting firm located in Westchester County.
Procrastination can affect entrepreneurs at all levels.
Whether you’re starting up or scaling, delaying or postponing might be one of the biggest challenges facing a business owner.
Particularly in our interruption-based culture where smartphones and social media feeds are constant, it’s normal to get distracted. Plus, life as an entrepreneur is demanding. If your to-do list seems endless, putting off the hard stuff can be the easiest thing to do.
According to Psychology Today, “Psychologists have identified various drivers of procrastination, from low self-confidence to anxiety, a lack of structure, and, simply, an inability to motivate oneself to complete unpleasant tasks. Research has also shown that procrastination is closely linked to rumination, or becoming fixated on negative thoughts.”
If you’re overworked and overwhelmed as a business owner, distraction and procrastination are bound to set in.
Procrastination During The Pandemic
When the world shut down, business for many companies slowed down and procrastination was inevitable. Medical experts say that when people are fearful, stressed, or depressed, they are more likely to delay or postpone tasks and assignments.
“Working with so many business owners at all levels, we have seen that in times of chaos and difficulty, procrastination rises to the surface. This was abundantly clear when the pandemic hit,” commented Ron A Pac, Managing Partner of Trivium Point Advisory.
However, Gerhard and Pac agree that the beauty of a small business is that it’s possible and not overly expensive to pivot very quickly.
“During COVID, many small businesses that were successful were those that were proactive and adapted to the conditions and situations around them,” said Gerhard.
He mentions a hypothetical example of a client whose med spa facility was unable to operate during the pandemic. Rather than putting off important decisions about the business, they shifted gears and opened the office as a COVID testing center. Being one of the first local businesses to do so, they’re now established in the area, all in an industry where they had no experience at all.
Some Tips For Getting Stuff Done
Whether it’s fear of the unknown or being overwhelmed, don’t let procrastination take over. Here are a few tips for staying focused on and completing your tasks.
Small business ownership is not for the faint of heart or the lazy. Rather than getting overwhelmed by what seems like your neverending list of to-dos, get started by creating a consistent routine when you sit down to work.
Before writing, Earnest Hemingway sharpened pencils and Charles Dickens arranged things on his desk. Do the same to get your mind ready to roll.
Says Pac, “Most successful business owners are very task-driven, but sometimes they spend more time on the top five things on their list, versus the top two. Five tasks may sound and feel overwhelming, but if you can focus on the two biggest priorities, you’ve already positioned yourself in a better place to get other things done as well.”
While it may take practice to prioritize, it will ultimately help you identify the tasks that take priority.
Imperfection is Better for Business
Procrastinators are often perfectionists. While you may find it more palatable to never embark on a task than to face the chance of not doing it well, letting go of perfectionism can help your productivity.
“Progress over perfection will help avoid procrastination. Any 85% effort is better than zero. Plus, getting the right kind of help can push you over the finish line,” stated Gerhard.
Don’t Go It Alone
Owners are so immersed in the daily operations of their business that they may feel scatterbrained and overwhelmed with getting it all done. In these moments, it’s easy to fall into the trap of procrastination.
Most business owners know that to be productive and efficient, you have to implement manageable processes.
Trivium Point Advisory: Your Partners in Proactivity
“One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is not deciding at all,” says Gerhard.
As a business owner, you deserve the time and confidence to make hard decisions and take action.
Gerhard, Pac, and the team at Trivium Point Advisory are here to help you navigate through the uncertainty and provide the 30,000-foot view of your business that you might be missing. Sometimes you need a clear road map to provide clarity.
As the old English proverb says, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
Give us a call so that we can help with your today and your tomorrow!