Home Office Survival Kit – #13 Don’t procrastinate

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I read somewhere that if you can’t make it in less than a week (in your plans), it simply means that the idea, project or the task you’d like to do will never be done.

It follows that one of the most dangerous ways of conducting a business is to procrastinate your fundamentals and basic tasks.
While the unexpected is something that may delay your plans, there’s nothing worse than postpone certain important aspects of your home business because you don’t want to follow up!

If you’re a business owner you know that certain important tasks are yours and nobody will accomplish them except you. You’re in charge for the critical aspects of your activity: accounting, billing, project management and project planning, strategies, meeting with key clients and partners…. If you miss a critical deadline it happens that it may come back to you as a lost opportunity or, even worse, a lost client. And the sole responsibility is yours.

I understand that sometimes you really can’t keep up with the massive amount of work, but I suspect that this is mainly caused by disorganization and not because you’re so busy and with a full-booked agenda. Other times, since you’re working from home, you may think that it is more attractive to spend the whole day connected to your social media accounts, instead of designing your client’s website or writing an offer worth thousands of dollars. Even in this case you really have no excuses. You’re missing the point: what’s more important? A concrete and billable work that you’re asked to deliver in a few days or hanging around on Twitter, Facebook and G+?

And don’t event think that, by postponing a task, it will magically be accomplished. If you’re in charge for that specific activity, nobody else will take it as his and make it happen (except in few occasions, but as far as I can remember it happened to me only once, as I was a senior in a big company and a junior wanted to impress me… But seriously: it doesn’t work like that in an home office environment!).

Procrastination is evil: if you aren’t determined to do something on time, the probabilities that you will never make it happen are really high.

I personally try to follow some naive and personal rules.

1. I try to prioritize my tasks and my important goals day by day.

2. If I don’t want to work or I’m uninspired, I usually take a break, have a mug of my favorite coffee or chat with a colleague of mine. With full batteries it is always easier and motivating to sit back and try to continue where left.

3. I schedule my agenda with realistic deadlines: if I already know by experience that a certain task takes at least 2 days, I usually schedule it in a way that it will take 2 and a half days (for emergencies); never less. I know that unrealistic deadlines are prone to procrastination and usually try to avoid them.

4. I hate overlapping tasks, but I’m lucky enough to be able to deal with several tasks at the same time. I 100% agree with those researches that state that women are more capable of multi task than men. I hate it and I hate to schedule my agenda with parallel activities. For me, it works better if I serialize tasks with pauses between them, knowing that a day has 16 hours of productive time and that I’m not tied to a 9-5 work schedule anymore.

5. I try to do and work on projects I really like. This is the real and unique secret to help me avoid procrastination. If I love it, I won’t wait too much to work on it!

What do you think? What’s procrastination for you?

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