Richard Hart

Head of Something @ Somewhere
Kent, UK

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Professional Procrastination

A lot of people say that procrastination is the bane of their lives. That procrastination is what stops them actually getting anything done. But recently I’ve come to realise that the real enemy isn’t your typical “putting things off” sort of procrastination, it’s the “putting important things off” sort, or what I’ve come to name as “Professional Procrastination”.

If you really boil things down, this is perhaps one of the biggest business killers. It’s not picking up the phone to talk to customers. It’s not meeting with potential clients to make a sale. It’s moving pixels around on your homepage. It’s writing up marketing plans and creating spreadsheets planning out the next three years.

It’s doing all the things today, that might make you money tomorrow, when you could be doing things to make you money right now.

I love the term spinning the wheels, and this is it exactly. You don’t even realise you’re doing it because you feel so busy. I’m working 18+ hours a day, I must be doing some good. But you know what, it’s easy to be busy. I could shuffle around a gym all day and not lose weight, or I could go in bust my ass for 30mins and achieved a million times more. But that’s difficult. It’s difficult to realise results aren’t an outcome of random hours, results are an outcome of precise and definite action. I can’t remember where I read it, but a book said you should constantly ask yourself “Is what I’m doing right now, the most important thing I could be doing?”, and that’s be no means an easy question to answer. That bug may be critical, or that new feature may make all the difference. But are you doing and ignoring that customer who’s waiting for you to connect with them and make a sale? Are adding more features to certain areas of your site while ignoring what really matters most because? We do these things because the good stuff, the stuff that really brings home the bacon is hard. This blog post certainly isn’t the most important thing I could be doing right now though, that’s for sure.