Benchmark Business Group

Proactive Procrastination

November 27, 2018

Proactive Procrastination. It may be an oxymoron. It may even be a phrase we've coined. But the practice of it works.
 
The old saying regarding procrastination is that the hardest part is getting started.
 
We often push off tasks that, with a bit of preparation, would be easier to complete - or even delegate!  

 So why continue to fight procrastination? Let's embrace procrastination by being proactive.  

Proactive Procrastination is the act of jump starting a task.  By preparing the first step ahead of time you'll be less tempted to procrastinate.  

Proactive procrastination might not work on bigger projects, but a few examples where it does work include:

Unexpected Client Touches/Employee Touches - If a client or employee reaches a milestone or something unexpected happens such as losing a loved one, it's natural to want to reach out to them. Yet, these are easy tasks to skip or procrastinate. To solve this, keep a steady supply of cards and possibly gifts that you can give as needed. If you don't have to take the time to get cards/gifts you'll be more likely to complete the task. For expected touches such as birthdays and even anniversaries we recommend a system, but until you get it built, this will work as well.

Responding to Online Reviews - Responses matter when it comes to online reviews, but what do you say? How do you say it? It's easy to see why this task is often delayed. To be proactive, make a list of responses. At least 5 for negative comments and 5 for positive comments. This will allow you to rotate through the reviews, but not come across as robotic. Since you already know what you will say, this task will become easier to complete and thus lower your temptation to procrastinate. It also allows you to delegate the task.

Responding to Emails/Phone Calls - It's easy to push aside emails/phone calls that require you to research or follow up with someone else to get the answer.  The temptation is to use the excuse that you just don't have time right now.  We recommend you Proactively Procrastinate by creating brief phone scripts or email templates to provide a timely response. Either you, or someone on your team can quickly communicate that you're looking into the situation and provide a time frame for when you'll get back to them. This creates a deadline making it a task you'll have to complete, and leaves the other person feeling cared for.

These are just a few examples of how you can Proactively Procrastinate. Having templates and supplies in place will make it much easier for you to take action. And by having the first part done, you'll have more time to add a touch of creativity to the task if needed.

We challenge you to think about the tasks that you procrastinate. Find the ways that you can jump start the task by having supplies on hand or creating templates so that it's easier for you to complete.

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