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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 6
Issue 8

Stop the Excuses - Do It Now!

"It is time to make the time." Henry Dumas

Often when I work with clients to resolve a problem, we end up focusing on some difficult, recurring issue. At this point, clients often come up with reasons why they cannot address the exercise necessary to move ahead with our work. Here are some examples:

  1. I am too busy writing new proposals… The excuse for not working on getting the systems in place to handle the business when it comes.

  2. Business is slow right now. We need to bring in more accounts and cannot afford to develop our strategic plan right now… The excuse for delaying a change in the company's direction to respond to the shifting economy.

  3. We aren't ready to work on our succession planning right now. First I have to get everything in place before we start with that... The excuse for avoiding tackling the succession plan.

Of course, life gets in the way of the best laid plans. Emergencies come up and everything is put on hold until the crisis passes. However, if the same problems keep appearing along with the same justifications for delay, it is time to stop and assess what's really going on. Ask yourself is it harmless procrastination or persistent avoidance?

If you never get to your seemingly non-critical projects, your business won't move forward and serious problems will develop down the road. In all of these instances, the clients preferred the busyness of focusing on tasks which helped them avoid larger important issues. These unaddressed situations will eventually absorb their time, energy and attention.

Sometimes we admit to procrastinating, but at other times we convince ourselves that we really don't have the time. Well, take control of your time and your challenges. Control is in your hands and your's alone. Here are some tips:

  • Examine your fear. Face your anxiety about working on the issue. It's ok to be uneasy. By identifying the fear and acknowledging avoidance, you can begin to conquer it.
  • Break big projects down into manageable pieces. Don't let the solution overwhelm you. Divide it into three to five steps and focus on one at a time.
  • Begin the process. It is natural to cling to old habits, even if it means doing things that don't work. The unknown is scary but things could improve. Change can happen gradually but you need to take that first step.
  • Set priorities that address issues. Don't bury yourself in tasks. Delegate routine duties and build the time and space to work on the situations that have the most impact on your business long term.

Like those of us who struggle with weight loss know: if we put off dealing with those extra pounds until after the party, when the weather gets better, or even just next week, it won't happen. Stop delaying and making excuses. Take control and do it NOW.


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