Are you wondering how you can successfully avoid procrastination? Here are some of my best tips tips to avoid procrastination in sales, with added avice from Vanessa Fardi, Online Content editor from NEUVOO.
Does Everone Procrastinate?
Let's not kid ourselves, we've all done it. You know what I'm talking about. That force that takes over, when there's an important deadline coming up, a task that needs to be completed almost immediately, or even when you need to tidy up at home. Should we dare speak its name? Yes, it's your old friend, procrastination. You know you should be working or doing something important, but you just can't, it's stronger than you. You just decide to put it off and fill your time with mindless tasks like checking your emails or browsing through social media.
Procrastination – A True Enemy to Sales Success
We see procrastination all the time. It happens every year like clockwork. Only a few weeks into January and people stop going to the gym and start cheating on their New Year’s diets. Similarly, salespeople start missing their daily sales activity targets, and therefore are no closer to earning their annual income bonuses this year than they were the previous year.
Now that we are all adjusting to a new reality of working at home in the midst of the global COVID-19 crisis, it’s happening again.
Why is it we all start each year off with such high hopes, only to let them fall by the way side a short time later? What is it that stops us from doing something we said we always wanted to do, even though now we have all the time in the world to do it? In a word, procrastination!
What is Procrastination – Really?
The dictionary defines procrastination as 'to delay or postpone action'. In other words, the problem is not that we don't want to improve ourselves or that we don't want to reach our daily sales activity targets, the problem is we chose not to.
After all, that's what procrastination really is – a choice. It can disguise itself in many ways, with many excuses. There's the popular 'I don't have time' excuse, closely related to 'something came up today' excuse. Of course we cannot forget the 'it's not the right time to get started' excuse.
Please! We all have the same number of hours in a day, we just choose to spend them differently. If something is really important to you, you will find the time and you will act upon it immediately!
How to Avoid Procrastination – It’s Not About Working Better Under Pressure
Some people postpone their responsibilities on purpose because they admit that they work better under pressure. This might be true to some point, but for certain jobs, this can't be common practice.
In sales, you need to know how to organize your time so you can stay productive. You need time to prepare, schedule, carry out, execute, and check these tasks, among other activities. Being a chronic procrastinator can become very stressful and it could eventually lead to termination.
Furthermore, when we procrastinate outside of the workplace and take it to our daily lives, postponing our goals is not only bad for our career, but also for our personal life. Leaving for tomorrow what can be done today can eat away our dreams and aspirations, eventually making us feel like we're stuck and going nowhere.
The Best Ways to Avoid Procrastination
Avoiding procrastination can be very hard, but not impossible. We've done our research to come up with the best ways to overcome it:
Organize your calendar and be realistic:
Scheduling your projects will help you get a better grasp of your upcoming deadlines and other activities. It will help you be more organized and not leave everything until the last minute. Don't set yourself up for failure; if you know you go to bed early, schedule your activities for the morning, when you are more productive.
Break it down:
Being in charge of a huge project might sometimes feel overbearing; therefore, it often leads to procrastination. Breaking down that big project into smaller tasks might just do the trick, but don't be tempted to drag the tasks out, be strict with each task's deadline.
How Sales Reps Should Organize Their Time (With Template and Example)
Focus on the results:
If you're too focused on what you need to do and how annoying the task is, think about the results. Imagine the goal has been achieved and that you managed to finish the tasks that led to it successfully. For example, if the task at hand is cleaning your kitchen, imagine walking into a perfect, squeaky clean kitchen, with no dirty dishes and being able to invite your friends over without being embarrassed. Then you'll have the drive you need to get there.
Optimize your work space:
It has been proven that an organized workplace can help you be more efficient while carrying out your daily tasks. Tailor your space to your own taste so you can be more productive and competent during the work day.
Think of something you would like to reward yourself with after you finish a tedious task. However, keep it simple and realistic. Maybe take a 10-minute break, eat a chocolate or check social media for a while, but don't go on a 12-hour Netflix binge.
Goal Setting – The True Key in Knowing How to Avoid Procrastination
The key to avoiding procrastination is you need to know what is truly important to you. What are your goals and aspirations? What is it that you want?
It is a proven fact that top performers have written goals and plans to achieve them. Whether you an entrepreneur running your own business, a sales manager directing a sales team, or a sales rep servicing a territory, you should as well. If you need help getting started, download the free 'Goal Setting and Action Planning Tool' from the B2B Sales Connections Download Centre. But don't procrastinate.
Avoiding Procrastination Requires You To Make a Change
After defining your goals, you will probably realize you need to improve or change something about yourself or your behavior in order to achieve them. You may even discover that you need the assistance of others to help you be successful.
If this is the case, then you need make it happen. But don't wait to get started, do it today! If you procrastinate, not only is it unlikely that you ever will get started, but you are also saying that the goals you worked so hard at setting are really not that important to you in the first place!
Remember that keeping a positive attitude about life and your career is also a very important step into the journey to learning how to avoid procrastination.
How to Avoid Procrastination – Change What Needs to Change Today!
If you find yourself procrastinating all the time, then it's probably time for a change. Don't be afraid to do it; what's there to lose?
Remember, if you continue to do what you've always done, you will continue to get what you've always got. Why not make this year's resolution to be resolute? Whatever it is you choose to do, just do it!
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.