Is Procrastination Holding You Back?
by C.J. Hayden, MCC, Author/Master Certified Coach - Get Clients Now
When you look at your marketing to-do list, do many of the items on it look all too familiar? Have entries like "call Donna Sanchez" and "follow up with Floyd Corp." been copied from a previous week? Putting off unappealing tasks may be human nature, but for an entrepreneur, procrastination can be deadly. Delays in contacting a prospect can lose the business to the competition. Failing to get the word out about an upcoming event may forfeit dozens of opportunities. Wasted marketing time can never be recovered. By the time you realize you might not make your goal for the month, quarter, or year, it may already be too late. Finding tasks on your to-do list week after week is a clear sign you are procrastinating, but it’s not always this obvious. Can you identify with any of these situations?
- Feelings of overwhelm. You have a backlog of work that seems insurmountable. You wake up in the morning already thinking about everything you must accomplish that day. It seems impossible to get it all done. If you are routinely unable to complete what’s on your list in the time available, you may be creating the problem yourself by putting tasks off week after week.
- Making excuses. You find yourself constantly having to make excuses to your business buddies, referral partners, potential clients, or even your coach about why you never followed up on that great referral, that important sales call wasn’t made, the marketing package wasn’t sent, or the proposal wasn’t written. After a while, the excuses begin to sound flimsy, even to you.
- Trivial pursuits. You notice that you are doing unimportant chores -- rearranging your desk drawers, filing old business cards, shopping for just the right desk, surfing the Net -- while neglecting crucial marketing activities.
- Overflowing pipeline. A form of procrastination unique to entrepreneurs and salespeople is continuing to develop new leads instead of contacting the prospects you already have. If you are spending more time attending networking events or reviewing lists of names than getting on the phone, putting your fingers to the keyboard, or driving to appointments, this problem may be yours.