You canât plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

That this quote means: No amount of thinking, if it is without action, (i.e. procrastination) will get the job done.

Why it applies to you: Between 15% and 20% of adults consider themselves to be chronic procrastinators.* Not a wonderful club to be a part of, but you don’t have to be a life member. In a business setting, procrastination is not only the thief of time, but it actively affects the bottom line. Every moment you are not doing the most profitable thing you could be, is a moment lost in the business.

Would you make a choice to pour money down the drain?

Who in their right mind would do that?

The truth is people do it all day every day. They pay rent on a property every month that doesn’t make them money (or as much money as it should). They pay wages to people who aren’t providing value to the business. They spend thousands on advertising without knowing if it really works or not.

Why would they do that?  They turn the ideas over in their minds, but put off the ACTION of implementing change. Please, for the sake of your business, don’t be like this.

The first step in overcoming procrastination is realizing that inaction is a choice in itself. Every moment you don’t take action is because of an unconscious decision not to take action now. So therefore every moment becomes profitable as you conciously choose to act.

The second step is to continuously prioritize. And while any action is better than none, not prioritizing your activity will still be unsuccessful. That’s when that little word “most” becomes extremely important. Prioritization may start with check- and to-do – lists, but it all boils down to “most”. Ask yourself always “What is the most….. Is this the most……”. Follow it with why. Be honest. So your internal conversation may run something like this:

“Is this the most profitable thing I could be doing with my time?”
“Why am I doing it?”
“Because we always ____ at this time of the day.”
“ummmmm….. we always do?”
“Could you make the most of your time in a more profitable way?”
“err… probably…”
“By doing _______”

Have this conversation hundreds of times a day (without wasting too much time about it) and you will begin to prioritize automatically.

Think long term about things. And act in the short term. Ploughing a field can’t be done thoughtlessly, but it requires immediate action. The farmer says “Hey the sun’s shining, and we won’t get a good crop next spring unless we plough the field right now…… “- that’s the mindset of a good business person.

And if in doubt: Just do it anyway.

*Source: Journal of the American Psychological Association, 2011; 

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