Procrastination – get on with it!

The new year is underway, and the business world is stretching and yawning its way out of festive hibernation. Now it’s time to face up to the things which you so joyfully and flippantly put to the bottom of your to-do list while the sprouts were simmering away.

It was all so easy to put things off before Christmas, wasn’t it? Indeed, it always is. You’ll start that project next year, when things have settled down a bit. You’ll arrange those important meetings when Christmas is out of the way. You’ll launch that new product when you’ve got back into the swing of things.

But Christmas isn’t a reason to delay any element of your work. Sure, it’s an important turning point in the year, but it’s no excuse to put your business development on hold from the end of November to the middle of January. It’s certainly no reason for the level of procrastination that plagues businesses all year round.

So many business owners are waiting for the perfect circumstances before they make changes, but what’s wrong with doing things right now? If you spend all your time waiting for the stars to align, the marketplace conditions to be just right and your competitors to be looking the other way before you launch your new product, you’ll never be ready. And by the time you realise this fact, let alone do something about it, your customers will have had their heads turned by your rivals.

Victor Kiam said that procrastination is opportunity’s assassin – and never was a truer word spoken, as the remotest hint of dithering can sabotage your position in the market. Staying ahead of the competition may well involve long-term planning and strategising, but there’s an awful lot to be said for rolling your sleeves up and just getting things done. Your rivals are probably doing it right now. So make 2011 the year of achieving things with your business – you might not get perfect results, but it’s far better than getting no results at all.

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