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Procrastination Pays for Entrepreneurs

procrastinateNo less an authority than Thomas Jefferson taught us to “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Well, Thomas Jefferson was wrong! Here are four times when it may pay to procrastinate if you’re an entrepreneur:

1. It may pay to push back your launch.
“Wait” is a viable option in many cases. While you wait, take a class. Get some experience in the industry. And check out The Entrepreneur Equation.

2. It may pay to delay your exit.
We’ll preface this by recognizing that many entrepreneurs wait too long to get out. They end up with a business that really doesn’t have any growth potential left.

But for the best businesses, why be in a hurry to sell? We have a friend who owns a business. He determined he would make as much in 2 years as he thought he could get for the business if he sold it. He’s getting his money now and later by delaying his exit!

3. Sometimes it pays to defer conversations.
It may be an employee or a customer. It could be your kid or your spouse. The point is somebody said or did something to upset you.

You want to fire back. You want to speak your mind. But it probably won’t be productive. You’ll probably say the wrong thing or at least say it the wrong way.

Get away. Take a break. Calm down. Get your head back so you can have a conversation, not a confrontation.

4. It may pay to postpone a major decision.
We can take a note from franchise law here. The law says a franchisor can’t accept your money for three days after you receive the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular.

You should be emotional about your business. But you shouldn’t base business decisions on emotions. Take a little time. Do some more analysis. Don’t spend the money today. Procrastinate for BIGG success!

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Is Your Schedule Overloaded Like A Dishwasher?

dishwasherSome couples argue about whether the toilet paper should roll over or under. Others squabble about whether toothpaste should be squeezed from the bottom or the middle. We might be unique, but we have a running disagreement about how full the dishwasher should be.

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marylynn If you’re keeping an eye on the news, you see that a lot of large companies are cutting marketing and even customer service. They’re cutting jobs and even entire departments. They’re streamlining.

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georgeAnd Mary-Lynn doesn’t fill it up enough … we spend money we don’t need to because we waste water and electricity.

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marylynn Well, we spend money when we have to wash the dishes again because some of them didn’t get washed in the overload.

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So now you see where we reach an impasse!

More importantly, this whole dishwasher discussion made us think about our schedules.

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marylynn My theory is that if you put too much into your schedule, just like the dishwasher, you can’t get it all done.

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georgeI don’t disagree that you have to be careful about overloading your schedule. I may be guilty at times of doing that, just like I overload the dishwasher according to Mary-Lynn. But you know the old saying – if you want something done, give it to a busy person.

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marylynn It’s the old 80/20 rule – 80 percent of the work gets done in 20 percent of the time. It is true that when you’re super busy, it seems like you are more productive. However, when you get too overloaded, you may not achieve what you set out to do. The result – you get frustrated and discouraged. It can even paralyze you at times.

4 ways to keep from being overloaded

#1 – Plan for reaction time

georgeWhen I first started managing people, I often overbooked myself because I didn’t allow for time to respond to my employees. I’ve seen a lot of first-time managers make this same mistake. The closer you are to the front line, the more important this is. Allow time to react to customers and employees or you’ll find yourself with too much to do in too little time.

#2 – Understand your patterns 

marylynn George is more of a morning person … I’m more of an afternoon person. So we just don’t work together at all! Seriously, plan your schedule so you’re working on your most important activities when you’re at your best.

#3 – Work at human capacity

georgeThis is a tough one. My dad, who’s one of my heroes, always thought he could get done more in a day than he actually could. He taught me well! Make sure you’re not planning ten hours of work if you only have eight hours to do it. Realize that you’re human, too. There will be times when you need to slow down or take a break.

#4 – Sometimes it pays to procrastinate

marylynn A prime example is the post you’re reading. Yesterday, we were trying to get this show done and I just wasn’t feeling well. We felt like if we pressed on, our end product wouldn’t have been as good as what you’re reading now.

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georgeSo we decided to put it off for a day. There was no reason not to … and hopefully, you’ll agree that we did alright!

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marylynn Now if I can just get George to stop loading the dishwasher so full!

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Why Being Imperfect is Perfect

On the show, George said his dad was a perfectionist. Specifically, he was a bricklayer who was known for his impeccable craftsmanship. However, when he was working on other things, George said he would sometimes hear his dad say …

“It’s good enough for who it’s for.”

That’s a great saying to remember to help you fight your inner perfectionist. When you’re working on something, you reach a point of diminishing returns. 

2 options
#1 – You can spend a whole bunch more time to get something a little bit better, or

#2 – You can spend the same time and get a whole bunch more done.

In most cases, you’re better off doing #1!

The 80 / 20 rule
Apply the old 80 / 20 rule – 80 percent of the things you do probably don’t need to be perfect; only 20 percent do.

If what you’re working on is really important, go for the marginal improvement you’ll get from spending the extra time on it. If it’s not that important, get it done and remind yourself that it’s good enough for who it’s for.

For example, Mary-Lynn said that she used to try to get her hair to look just right before she went to work. But she has a lot of hair, so it took some time. She found that if she kept fussing with it, she’d be late for work. She learned to just turn off that curling iron, pull the plug and say, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.”

George said he only wished he had enough hair to have that problem!

Perfectionism causes procrastination
Perfectionism can be a huge problem because it may cause you to procrastinate. Have you ever put off doing something because everything had to be perfect before you could start?

George said that when he had a report to write in college, he would never be satisfied with the research he had done. The house had to be immaculate before he could start. His desk had to be cleaned and organized. He finally learned to say, “It’s good enough for who it’s for!” Then he could get start writing the report!

Rebutting your inner perfectionist
There’s a well-known technique for fighting off your inner critic. Start a journal that records the conversation between the perfectionist in you and your more practical self. This helps you discover what is causing your need for perfection so you can rebut your inner perfectionist.

So, yes, we’re telling you to talk to yourself! But remember, you don’t need a perfect reply or a perfect question.

Our bigg quote today is a shortened version of a quote by John Updike:

“Perfectionism is the enemy of creation …”

So fight off your inner perfectionist with these simple words, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.”

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Next time, we’ll discuss how to increase your profit year after year. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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I’m Overwhelmed! How Do I Get Started on my Project?

Bigg Challenge:
Dan says his new job requires him to do a lot of projects. When a project comes his way, he often feels overwhelmed by all the little things that need to be done. So it takes a couple of days to really dive in. He wants some advice on how to get started sooner.

Bigg Advice:
Don’t feel alone on this one, Dan. A lot of people face this problem or a similar one. It can be daunting, wondering how you’ll ever get it all done.

3 tips to help you get started on your next project

Read more

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Don’t Wait Until the Cougars Get Hungry

By Dana Mancuso
Bigg Success Contributor
05-28-08

Life Skills

cougar 

There were two cougars. Somehow they had killed a tiger and eaten it.

Never mind that this was in a hotel that I was staying in and that the scenery kept changing.
And never mind that I was walking past these two cougars on tip toes down the long stairs to the lobby to call 911 on my cell phone. In fact, ignore completely that this was a dream I had, because there is a point coming up that makes more sense than cougars eating a tiger or being in a hotel.

So in this dream, I called 911 and told the man who answered about the two cougars on the loose. That they had eaten a tiger and were just wandering free around the hotel – scaring guests nearly to death.

Long story short, I had to hide in a hotel tub (which was now outside) and put some type of board over my head to keep away from the cougars. While in the tub I called the folks at 911 again. When are you going to come get these cougars? At least send someone to stun them!

Okay, here comes the part that will later make my point. They asked me if the cougars had eaten anyone else.

NO, I told them. Well then, they didn’t think they needed to come get the cougars yet. The cougars had just eaten a tiger, so they should be full for a while. 

As often happens in dreams, this one ended without any resolution. But come on, this one needs some resolution. Someone has to come get the cougars before they get hungry, right? And someone should have recognized on the other end of the phone that even full cougars are dangerous.

As I thought more about the dream, this seemed like a classic procrastination story. Wait until later. No need to tackle this problem now. The cats are fat and sassy! But wait a minute; how long do cougars stay fat and sassy once they’ve eaten? Most things in life aren’t going to jump out and eat you if you don’t deal with them. But not keeping up can really take a bite out of your day or your ego.

This dream made me look at procrastination (which I am great at in some cases) a little differently. I had never looked at procrastination as something dangerous both now AND later, like the cougars.

  • It is dangerous now because putting something off robs me of my sense of accomplishment. It robs me of peace of mind. Even if I put it off now and “put it out of my mind”, I still know it has to get done. And so it nags at the subconscious.
  • Later it robs me of time because I have to rush to get it done.

Dreams can help you work out your “awake life”. This one was a step in the right direction for me. Instead of siding with the 911 voice, I strongly opposed putting off catching the cougars and wanted to take action now. Not a bad anti-procrastination statement! Maybe next time I can catch the cougars and conquer procrastination forever? I’ll tell you what I find out. Anyone have a stun gun I can borrow?

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Don’t Put Off Taking This Test

By Bigg Success Staff
02-22-08

Test Yourself

question_mark 

We all know the old saying, “Don’t do today what you can put off to tomorrow!”

Oops, wait a minute – we got that wrong. Of course, it’s actually, “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today.”

Ah, procrastination!
All of us do it occasionally. But when it becomes a habit, it is a problem. It often makes accomplishing your task even more difficult. It creates unneeded stress. And it’s one of the hardest habits to break.

The good people at Psychology Today have a test to see how much you procrastinate. It will take you less than 5 minutes to answer the ten questions.

You’ll instantly know if you put things off too much. So check it out now … or later! 

Source: Psychology Today Procrastination Test

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