Grow Your Business: Do Not Delay

Posted: Updated:
Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor. Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

Everyone has done it. Put things off. It is also known as procrastination, delaying things until tomorrow, when you could do them today. But tomorrow never comes.

In a recent article for Entrepreneur, writer Aytekin Tank makes a compelling argument on how to stop putting things off. While much research has been compiled over the past several decades, procrastination comes down to each individual and how they deal with it, since everyone is confronted with it at one time or another, in the life of their business. Tank goes on to cite personal experiences he had and his realization that each person needs to uncover the "source" of the problem causing them to delay certain tasks, instead of following the traditional path of just pushing through or getting beyond the obstacle that is in your path.

He boils it down to four points that could be the cause of your delaying tactics. As he says “The ‘just do it’ approach works sometimes, but it’s not sustainable. If you’re repeatedly avoiding specific tasks, there’s an underlying reason— and odds are it’s highly personal.”

You are not making enough progress: It is only natural to want to achieve success as soon as possible, but sometimes, that just doesn’t happen. When starting a business, for example, it could take a long time before success is reached. In situations like that, where the goals are way out on the time line, it is suggested that smaller goals or milestones be set along the way to the ultimate goal or measure. "Imagine you want to create an online course. You could commit to writing a paragraph after every glass of water, continuing this triggered behavior throughout the day. Once the task is done, it’s time for the small celebration. You could listen to a favorite song, take a brief walk, or read a great book."

You don’t know where to begin: This feeling of helplessness can happen when there are so many things to do and you have the sense of not having enough time to do them. Tank suggests taking a step back and seeking the counsel of “friends, mentors, and advisors” who can make more objective suggestions and “help you establish clear priorities."

Fear of Failure: Many people, according to Tank, are so obsessed with the thought of failure in achieving a goal, they become paralyzed in the process, resulting in missed goals. Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University considers this form of delaying tactics to be fear-based procrastination ‘avoiders’. Actually, according to Ellen Hendriksen, a psychology professor at Boston University, “perfectionism and procrastination are linked.” That link can cause you to believe “your performance is tied to your self-worth”, when it is not. The key observation here is to come to the realization there is a distinct difference between the two in order to alleviate your fear of failure.

Not liking what has to be done: Most people are confronted with having to perform many tasks. The fortunate ones enjoy accomplishing more than 50% of the tasks in front of them. The less fortunate ones enjoy less than 50% of those tasks. Whichever side you are on, it is important to realize everyone has to do things they don’t like or want to do. Psychologist Heidi Grant suggests the following, “apply a technique called “if-then planning. First, identify the steps required to complete a task. Next— and most important— determine where and when you’ll act. Tell yourself, for example, ‘If it’s 10 am, then I’ll close my email and research design agencies.” 

Interestingly enough, there is a scientific explanation behind procrastination. As Tank says, “Dopamine is often described as the brain’s ‘reward chemical’, activated by the ping of a smart phone or a heaping plate of pasta. But new research shows dopamine is more closely related to reward-seeking behavior than operating as a reward itself. When your brain encounters novelty, it releases dopamine. The natural chemical motivates you to search for a reward (there’s that exploring and pushing forward again). But when the project’s novelty wears off, your mind rebels. Your motivation drops as your brain thinks, 'My hard work isn’t being rewarded. This isn’t fun anymore.'"

In order to avoid procrastination, trying to set yourself up with more short term or even instant gratification scenarios with your work, could do wonders for you and help your business grow to even higher heights.

  • Perspectives

    • The Race for a Winning Credit Score

      It’s May in Indy and the sound of revving racecar engines signals good times to come. But try to keep your spending under the yellow flag. Overspending on credit cards during the festivities could turn that May engine roar into a dreaded credit score “dent” come June. That’s not a great way to kick off summer. Here’s what to watch out for so your credit score will be a winner! FICO Credit-Scoring System The FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) is the most...
    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • New Owners Coming For Indiana Casinos

      Two Indiana casinos will soon be under new ownership. Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PNK), which owns Ameristar Casino and Hotel in East Chicago and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, is set to be acquired by Penn National Gaming Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) in a $2.8 billion deal.

    • Governor Announces OMB Director Change

      Governor Eric Holcomb has named Cris Johnston Office of management and budget director. He previously served eight years for then Gov. Mitch Daniels as the executive director of the Office of Management and Budget’s division of government efficiency and later, as deputy chief of staff. Johnston will take over for Micah Vincent who is leaving the administration.
    • (photo courtesy of ArcelorMittal)

      ArcelorMittal Investing $160M at Burns Harbor

      Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal has announced plans to invest more than $160 million in its Burns Harbor steel mill. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the steelmaker's investment will focus on several areas within the facility over the next several years.

    • I-65 INDOT construction map

      I-65 Construction Update

      Construction work is scheduled to start next week on I-65 near downtown Indianapolis. Indiana Department of Transportation crews will begin to clean up the interstates after two years of freeze/thaw cycles. Crews will be working in segments, including patching and repaving work. INDOT crews will begin work in earnest on northbound and southbound in segments, beginning on weekend nights from April 26 through August.  

    • (photo courtesy of Reid Health)

      Reid Health To Acquire Fayette Regional Health System

      Reid Health has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Fayette Regional Health System of Connersville. The announcement comes after Fayette Regional filed for protection under Chapter 11 in October 2018. Specific terms will be disclosed in the bankruptcy case and will include a $12.75M payment to the bankruptcy estate of Fayette. The deal requires bankruptcy and regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in mid-July this year.