Performance & Pay

The art of (anti) procrastination.

When I saw this true but painful video I harked back to the many months if not years of time I have wasted from pointless distractions.  Little threads of meaningless things I have picked at like a dangling stitch staring at me on a jumper.  By the end of it (the thread, or the day) I am in awe at how much value I just destroyed starting from one simple thing.  Sit back an enjoy this, I laughed at myself when watching…

This video reminded me of 2 very big words I grew to know very well over my first year (1999) os being an entrepreneur – starting, growing, selling or shutting down small businesses.  Focus and discipline.  Without these two habits your business could easily fail.

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too late.’ – Martin Luther King Junior

And on discipline, this is one of my favourite reminders:

Discipline is the greatest thing in the world. Where there is no discipline, there is no character. And without character, there is no progress…Adversity gives us opportunities to grow. And we usually get what we work for. If we have problems and overcome them, we grow tall in character, and the qualities that bring success. – J. Willard Marriot Senior

OK, enough naval gazing – as you can expect, here is what to do.

What a small business owner/manager should do to help curb procrastination:

  1. Catch yourself out – lift your perspective above you if you have a sense you are falling into the trap of frittering away time, and ask “am I procrastinating?”  Awareness is half the trick
  2. Say “no.”  Sounds silly, but when you do catch yourself out, stop yourself from following the meaningless pursuit
  3. Take a break.  Ask yourself why you are procrastinating, if you are bored, go and do something interesting for a bit then come back and get into “your stuff.” But only allow yourself no more than 20 minutes
  4. Be a good Worker Bee – have a top 4 objectives for the week, plan your week and plan your day.  Once you have intellectually set out what you know you should be doing and put it in your calendar, having it stare you in the face screams “accomplish me!”


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