No longer can one business rest on his laurels

No longer can one business rest on his laurels, wake up it’s time for action, if you don’t someone else will.

Do you know that bees avoid decision-making pitfalls by considering several options, but they make fast and effective decisions in order to react to opportunities. Businesses need to evaluate, respond and act taking in new information put it into good use, and modify or eliminate ineffective ones.

Procrastination is the enemy of progress. Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the last minute before a deadline.

According to the first ever in-depth report examining why and how we procrastinate, Britons spend nearly four hours every day delaying tasks they know they should be doing. Not only does this cost businesses £76bn a year in lost revenue, it also affects peace of mind at home. The aftermath of the recession still lingers, yet nearly a quarter of us (twenty four per cent) delay sorting out our personal finances, despite the fact that seventeen per cent of us believe we’d be in a much better financial position if we did.

But procrastination isn’t just a money thief – it steals time too. The study, published by the lending company RateSetter and based on a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults, revealed that we spend, on average, two hundred and eighteen minutes procrastinating every day, which amounts to fifty five days of lost time each year. Employees waste forty three minutes daily just by doing non-work related things, like making tea or gossiping with colleagues, which equates to £76 billion lost to British businesses each year.

As I mentioned earlier, procrastination is almost always based on some kind of fear. Our minds make all our future tasks big and scary. So we procrastinate. We try to avoid the pain that we know is surely going to come. The problem is that to stay in this place of “comfort” we sacrifice something much more valuable: time.

Twenty per cent of people worldwide identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. And despite what the super-organised among us may believe, their behaviour is not caused by a lack of time management or planning.

So to avoid procrastinating you must set new habits, and the most important part of any new habit is getting started — not just the first time, but each time. It’s not about performance, it’s about consistently taking action. In many ways, getting started is more important than succeeding.

Create an action plan, ‘Bee’ smart and define accountability; each “bee” has a specific task and is responsible for carrying it out. However, in reality this just isn’t as simple; setting and communicating goals isn’t enough. To truly achieve alignment and ensure success, you need to make everyone accountable. So build regular reporting and status updates into your customer service goal management and performance management process. Everyone, up and down the reporting chain, including the executives or leaders who are responsible for organisational goals, should regularly report on their progress in achieving goals and the status of their goals. Without this regular communication, it’s easy for managers and employees to set goals, document them on a form, then file them away and forget them until the next performance review/goal setting period.

action planning is working out what exactly you need to do to get where you want to be. Whether those are personal goals or organisational goals doesn’t matter, as the skills required are the same, so what are you waiting for??

Go on, get started…

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we don’t just sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.” – Lee Iacocca.


Extract from the book, Thrive with the Hive, author Claire Boscq-Scott, download your copy here 


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