A hard look at procrastination
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show is always the first week in November, and it’s a reminder to me that the end of the year is near.
This year has been very busy for me, and 2015 is shaping up to be even busier. I’m writing this article as much for me as for others who may have a tendency toward procrastination.
SEMA Show time is extremely busy for me as I help prepare my clients for the show with printing, design, flyers, displays, consulting, and a wide variety of other stuff. The week of the show is exciting; long hours, meetings, and more things to see and do than you can possibly accomplish. After the show, there is the need to catch up, follow up and gear up. When I say “gear up,” I mean that 2015 is right around the corner and I had better get to laying out plans for my business and for my clients’ businesses; after all, we get paid for results.
My natural tendency after the SEMA Show is to slow down and relax. As a result, I have to plan appropriate time for relaxation because if I don’t, I’ll give myself slack that can lead into levels of procrastination. For me, it’s all about finding the right balance of slow time and go time.
As we know, maintaining a business is challenging, at times difficult; to succeed requires constant effort. Procrastination leads to more challenges and difficulties and, therefore, must be overcome. Success is achieved daily, and planning is part of the process. I’m recommending a simple three-step process to help beat procrastination, an enemy of business success.
1) Carefully plan realistic goals: Goals come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be or should be broken down into immediate and longer-term categories. I’ve learned over the years to go ahead and list the goals that I don’t particularly like to accomplish and ask for help. Though I accomplish a lot for my business and my clients, I still have a tendency to procrastinate on items I don’t like. I tend to fool myself into thinking that I don’t procrastinate. Goals properly established help me avoid this tendency of mine.
2) Establish an action plan: Self-discipline and self-motivation are important to accomplishing goals, but we can accomplish more if we create an action plan. I include accountability partners in my action plan because I tend to build in slack when it’s not necessary. I suggest placing a few easier goals, low-hanging fruit, as it were, up front to build some momentum. Momentum is the enemy of procrastination. Being aware of your own personal work ethic is important. For example, I’m most productive on a daily basis if I start strong. If I allow myself to get distracted in the morning, it will diminish my productivity for the entire day.
3) Set up check points: In accomplishing goals, there are hurdles to be cleared. Some of the hurdles are external and some are internal. External hurdles could be new competitors moving into your market, or maybe economic conditions shifting for the worst. Some hurdles are internal such as the fear of failure, seeds of doubt, fear of success, self-criticism, frustration, perfectionism, loss of control, and fear of disappointing others. Hurdles have to be cleared whether external or internal, and putting timetables and accountability in place is necessary.
May I suggest some goals for 2015 as we move forward in our businesses and careers?
- Pick a category to improve sales by 10%: alignments, performance tire sales, custom wheels, or overall service revenue. You pick any category you want.
- Reduce customer complaints by improving communication skills.
- Commit to become an SUV/CUV tire expert; research sizes, fitments, and offer the best value in your marketplace.
- Establish three goals: immediate goal, longer-term goal, and dream goal.
Realistic achievable goals are motivators. If your goal is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Share it with a trusted confident who has a vested interest in your success. Own your goals.
One of my goals in 2015 is to establish a video version of Counter Intelligence leading to improved experiences for consumers and counter staff. ■
Wayne Williams is president of ExSell Marketing Inc., a “counter intelligence” firm based in La Habra, Calif. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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