The Business Advisory Blog

The Business Advisory Blog

Insight, news and updates from Alliott NZ Chartered Accountants, Auckland New Zealand. The views expressed here are the views of the author and should be discussed in further detail should an article be relevant to your individual circumstances.

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Greg Millar
Published on

6 tips to beat procrastination

In the week where Australia Zoo celebrated Bindi Irwin’s 20th birthday (can you believe it?), we stumbled across an interview with Terri Irwin in which she described her late husband Steve (the Crocodile Hunter) as the opposite of a procrastinator.

croc underbelly-826Terri spoke of his eagerness to do everything right now and we found ourselves wondering where he found the energy that obviously wasn’t just for the camera.

We like to consider ourselves as well organised people and, by and large, non-procrastinators, but let’s be honest, we all have everyday tasks (whether they be at work or home) that we tend to put off, in favour of something more enjoyable.

If we find ourselves procrastinating from time to time (or perhaps more often than we would like to admit), it makes sense that business owners also suffer the same curse.

It can be frustrating but, in reality, procrastination has little to do with an apathy for work or an inherent laziness.

In fact, procrastination has long been attributed to a great variety of causes, including low self-confidence, fear of failure, lack of understanding, lack of motivation, perfectionism, trouble concentrating, low energy, lack of goal setting or poor organisational skills.

So what can we do about it and how can we be encouraged to beat it?

We recommend the following tips, based on the work of Pearce (2014):

  1. Break tasks down into smaller parts. 
  2. Eat your veggies first. By doing the hard things first, the rest should be a breeze!
  3. Beware of majoring in minor tasks. Make sure you address the key question of the task, rather than focus on what it looks like. Save any detail for the finishing touches.
  4. Start with the end in mind and communicate your goals to someone who will keep them accountable. This could be your business partner, business colleague, spouse, business adviser or mentor.
  5. Set aside guilt-free time to do whatever you like. Give yourself some downtime to simply relax.
  6. Celebrate small milestones to stay motivated and chunk tasks.
Wishing all business owners a procrastination-free Quarter 2. Call us on 09 520 9200 if we can be your sounding board for communicating your goals.

Source: Anita Gibson, Educator

Topics: Goal setting mentor Performance strategy