Monthly Archives: September 2014

5 Suggestions For Dealing With Procrastination

Procrastination

Have you ever, even once in your life, procrastinated?  I am sure that virtually all of us will respond to this question by saying, “Duh!!  Of course I have!” It really isn’t a matter of “if” we procrastinate – it’s just a matter of “to what degree” we do it.

So what causes one to procrastinate?  I think that’s a fair question, because we have no chance of minimizing or eliminating procrastination from our lives until we understand what drives us – uniquely – individually – to procrastinate – to not do the things we need to do.

Here’s my list of top procrastination drivers (and I’ll bet you can add to it).

  • Fear.  Fear of all kinds can stop us in our tracks.  Fear of failure; fear of success; fear of not fitting in; fear of being ridiculed, criticized, or made fun of – you can add your own flavor here, too.
  • Being overwhelmed.  Sometimes we have so many things on our plates that we literally can’t decide what to do next.  At that point, it’s sometimes easier to just do nothing than it is to pick something and get started.
  • Lack of focus.  If you haven’t established your goals and highest priorities, the lack of focus it creates can foster kind of a lackadaisical attitude that allows us to justify not taking action.
  • Laziness.  Some of us are just plain lazy.  We procrastinate because there is no internal motivation that is driving us.  We don’t achieve because we don’t want to.

I read a quote the other day that says, “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin”.

Procrastination is a success killer!  It will rob you of your dreams.

So how do we go about overcoming procrastination?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Eliminate fear.  The only way to destroy fear is to look it squarely in the eye and take action in spite of it.  As you do, several powerful things happen:

— Fear melts away

— You realize that the fear you had imagined was nowhere near as bad as you made it out to be

— You begin building confidence to blow through other fears in your life

  • Start small and get big.  If you’re overwhelmed, get to work.  Start with something small and watch the momentum build.  As you do, your list of to-do’s will shrink and, almost before you know it, you’ll be working on the really important stuff.
  • Define your life and goals.  All truly successful people got where they are by knowing what they want from life.  When you have goals, they provide focus that literally propels you forward.  Most people spend an enormous amount of time and energy planning their summer vacations.  How much more important is it for you to spend at least that much time (if not more) planning your life?
  • Move from laziness to productivity.  This takes discipline and practice.  Being productive is a habit one develops over time.  It starts with a commitment to take small actions, and then to build on those actions to do more and more – and more.  Once you discover your true capacity for accomplishment, you’ll never go back!
  • Give it time.  Anything worth having and doing in life is worth working for – and taking the time to develop.  Don’t expect instant results, but do commit to giving it your all for at least 60 days.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much progress you can make in that short period of time.

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

Productivity & Your Business: 4 Master Keys to Success

productive living

Let me ask you an important question: How much is the lack of the personal productivity of you and your employees costing your business?

Sometimes it can be hard to quantify, but instinctively all of us know that unproductive people hurt our bottom lines, both directly and indirectly.  They do it directly by taking longer to do tasks, thereby increasing the labor cost of products and services and reducing profits.  They do it indirectly by causing shipments to be late, and that can cause disgruntled customers who never return to do business with us again.

It is perfectly logical that making an investment in personal productivity in the work environment can pay huge dividends – BUT HOW DO WE PRACTICALLY ACCOMPLISH THIS?

Here are some suggestions that will help you navigate the personal productivity waters.

  • Hire a professional.  Just as doctors specialize in various areas of medicine, there are those of us whose major focus is on improving personal and business productivity.  Our observation skills and abilities to formulate effective action plans far transcend the capabilities of the average individual, and the investment made can pay huge dividends.
  • Communicate.  Your employees need to know where they fit in.  Have you taken the time to make them aware of where they fit – how what they do contributes to the organization and to satisfied customers?  And have you done so in a way that really personalizes it for each employee?
  • Listen, Act, and Give Credit.  Improving productivity has a lot to do with understanding what people do, how they do it, and more importantly, why they do it the way they do.  Listening involves getting to this level of understanding, but it also involves asking for input on how things can be done better – and then listening – really listening – to the feedback.  But listening is not enough.  Good ideas need to be acted upon and implemented as soon as possible.  And finally, the recognition – the credit – needs to go back to the person who authored the idea.  Failing to do this last step practically guarantees that you’ll never get another good idea from an employee.
  • Share.  Consider running an open-book business.  Have monthly communications meetings with your employees, during which you talk about the state of the business.  Be honest in asking for their help and ideas to be able to improve quality, reduce costs, and shorten deliveries.  Tell them about your competition and the challenges you are facing in the marketplace.  You’ll be very pleasantly surprised to see just how intelligent and resourceful your employees can be.

As always, we are here to help.  At Optechs, our core competencies are built around delivering Optimized Performance to you and your business.  Call us at 203.599.1467 for a FREE, no obligation 63-minute consultation.

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.