Startup Procrastination and its impact
Perfectionism is often an excuse for procrastination. -Paul Graham-Y Combinator
“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.”
Almost all the startup entrepreneurs face the above problem in their entrepreneurial journey. This is probably due to the multiple tasks and challenges startups have to tackle and not prioritizing the key tasks, which has the highest impact on the business.
The dilemma of unknown or unpredictable outcomes from tasks makes the entrepreneur postpone the decision.
As experts say there is no right or wrong decisions at any given point of time when that decision is made. The past failures or less than expected outcomes from a decision, is a stumbling block for decision making. Learning curve slows down the decision.
Certain decisions like building a business plan, scouting for investment or hiring and firing people, can trigger panic. These are stressful activities, which result in procrastination. As a result, many must-do activities keep being postponed.
Time management, inability to delegate and individuals who are control freaks and number crunchers tend to procrastinate. A corporate executive turned entrepreneur may have the analysis- paralysis syndrome.
Procrastination affects business adversely as can be seen from declining sales, employee dissatisfaction and customer complaints.
A customer ordered a cup of coffee in a restaurant.Unfortunately, there was an unordered ant in the cup. The waiter, when called, replied that his supervisor would address the problem after investigation, as he was not empowered to take a decision. You can imagine what happens in such a scenario.
How to avoid falling into the procrastination pit
Image Courtesy: sxc
1. Prioritize your activities
Follow 80/20rule and focus on items critical for business. This will help in reducing the time pressure.
Builds trust in the team
3. Team Building
Brainstorming when you need to decide on alternatives
4. Institute Measures- “What you measure is what you can improve”
Record your fears that prevent you from taking a decision. Evaluate the results. On a lighter vein, the startup entrepreneur may end up publishing an e-book ‘How to avoid falling into procrastination pit’ or conduct a seminar for budding entrepreneurs.
5. Mentor/ Coach/ Advisory Board
Discussion with any one of the above may remove self-doubt, bring in a new fact or a completely new solution.
6. Perfection can cause procrastination
In the business domain, there is no perfect solution and especially in the current times when any event in any corner of the world may upset plans.
Eliminate the startup procrastinate virus by following the above steps.
Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window -- and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.
A closely related malady to procrastination is the well-known “Parkinson’s Law” – all work will expand to fill the time allotted. When you add procrastination, people tend to start things too late, and then miss the deadline; no matter how far in the future it is set.
The good news is, killing your procrastination is easy to do when you put your mind to it.