When Companies Procrastinate.. How Consultants can Help?

Posted On: April 19, 2016

Technology is exposing organizations to catastrophic disruptions as never before. There is coexistence of businesses still spending millions on paper and businesses using apps. to get everything done. In the middle of these two extremes, there exist businesses with long pending technology implementation plans, yet to be implemented. In absence of specialist guidance and a correct approach, such businesses keep postponing their plans for upgrading or migrating, putting themselves at risk of losing ground to competitors.

Most of the businesses like above procrastinate and wait till the problems occur and force them to take action. It is like letting the disease causing germs to grow and proliferate, till it becomes an emergency and immediate medical assistance is needed.

Ideally, companies should be proactive in adjusting their systems to the needs of changing times. All it takes is moving out of the comfort zone and adopting new ways of doing things.

Human Behavior and Corporate Settings

Human beings are not specifically lazy, they are just another species of mammals and laziness is by nature ingrained in them.

Humans have been procrastinating since the antiquity. The habit is as old as the civilization itself. Greek philosophers like Aristotle, Socrates had given it a name- “Akrasia” and classified it as one of the inherent characteristics of humankind, maybe a side effect of the intelligence.

This habit is characterized as a tendency to act against one’s astute judgments due to weakness of will. In plain words, it is like doing mundane things even though you know you should be doing other things that will be more productive and rewarding.

Why Businesses wait for the “RIGHT” time to take Action?

Business owners have several pending plans and have so many great ideas, and yet they struggle to take decisive actions on most of them. Many think that before moving forward on a plan, it has to be absolutely perfect. As a result, the period of inaction causes flab to accumulate, giving rise to indecisiveness and confusion. Consequently, business owners begin listening to others about why things don’t work. The varied opinions and questions start to raise doubts and uncertainty in their mind, giving way to procrastination.

Three Strategies to Conquer Procrastination: The Consultant’s Way

Having experience of diagnosing a multitude of business complications throughout their career, consultants have a holistic way of looking at things.

1. Focus on Short Chunks of Productivity:

When consultants come in to work on a project plagued by Procrastination, they focus on short periods of productivity. By dividing up the project into small workable chunks, they make problems look less daunting. Once a problem has been completely dissected and everything has been broken down, the pain points and hidden bottlenecks become clearly visible. It gives a sense of achievement that keeps motivation alive till the end. This way, consultants split time consuming projects into smaller parts that are independently attainable with less confusion and more focus, leaving no room left for procrastination.

2. Doing the Difficult Part First:

In words of Dale Carnegie- “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”

It often happens that the most difficult jobs turn out to be ones that are of high priority. Ironically, most people are naturally inclined to doing the easy part first and delaying the tricky tasks for future, which is a clear sign of procrastination. Delaying these tasks not only causes stress, but also results in losses, which makes it essential for businesses to try different ways to get these jobs done first. Consultants, being professional problem solvers, act on difficult areas first and this point is backed by scientific reasons. Starting with difficult/time consuming tasks is more likely to bring success because the energy level is highest during the beginning of the day/project. And so, it is prudent to take on the hardest jobs first, and the easy ones will take care of themselves.

3. Keeping Motivation Alive:

In everyday business operations, there comes a phase when things are moving slow, no matter how hard one pushes himself. It is these times when employees lose enthusiasm and become victims of procrastination. This most usually happens when business owners/employees are doing a repetitive or tedious task and not getting the desired results. Most business organizations quickly give up on such jobs, and they remain incomplete forever, on their big list of pending tasks.

Consultants don’t just start working on a task spontaneously. They assess themselves first to find out the right way of doing a given project. They do step by step planning and allot themselves sufficient intervals for breaks. Using their experience, consultants are able to spot those areas, where they are likely to slow down and procrastinate. They eliminate these hurdles through pre planning or engaging themselves with the most interesting part in a project, which keeps them up and active to the bitter end.

Fighting Procrastination

Human mind likes instant rewards to long term gains. We can fight procrastination by adopting unconventional strategies to get the jobs done quickly. It is important to spend time building commitment strategies in order to achieve the goals beforehand. With the help of these strategies, consultants don’t let procrastination hold them back.

To sum up, with a fresh perspective and a comprehensive plan, and just pushing yourself a little, you’ll be well on your way to ending the vicious cycle of procrastination once and for all.