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Overcoming Procrastination

By Star Report 4 min read

By Carol Douis, Sales Leader - New Home Star

As we approach the end of a critical period in the new home buying and selling industry, I find myself reflecting on just how pertinent each day and even each minute will be to all of us in the field as we move forward from such a busy time. That being said, consider this a warning to you all about the daunting enemy that always seems so close to us: procrastination.

I tend to live by the 'touch and go' method of managing my list most days. It helps me to keep up and keep moving. I have a daily 'to do' list so sometimes I wonder how procrastination can be an issue for me. Well, my friends, it is a commonality that may of us struggle with, even for someone like me.

Procrastination has been labeled as a pandemic in today’s workplace; stress and burnout increases as procrastination goes unchecked. To be the best sales team in the world, we must conquer this. On a recent one on one visit with a Sales Associate, I used some of the techniques you will find here to help an individual and my entire team to get past this age-old habit that so easily consumes our lives. It is my hope that these techniques will help you keep this enemy at bay and push you to use every minute of the coming weeks to attain your goals.

What Is Procrastination?

In a nutshell, you procrastinate when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now, usually for doing something that is more enjoyable or that you are more comfortable doing.

Step 1: Recognize That You Are Procrastinating

If you're honest with yourself, you probably know when you're procrastinating. Here are some useful indicators that will help you know when you’re procrastinating:

  • Filling your day with low priority tasks; just busy being busy.
  • Sitting down to start a high-priority task and almost immediately veering off to make a cup of coffee.
  • Leaving an item on your list for a long time, even though you know it's important.
  • Waiting for the 'right mood' or the 'right time' to tackle the important task at hand.

Step 2: Work Out WHY You're Procrastinating

  • Is it you or the task? It is important to understand which of the two it is. Then select the best approach for overcoming your reluctance to get going.
  • Do you find this task unpleasant? Push through it. Often the best way of dealing with these feelings is to get such tasks over and done with quickly so you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of your job.
  • Are you disorganized? Organized people manage to ward off the temptation to procrastinate because they tend to prioritize their lists and move through them efficiently.
  • Even if you are organized, you can still feel overwhelmed by tasks. You seek comfort in doing tasks you know you can complete. Unfortunately, the big task isn't going to go away.
  • You struggle to make a decision. If you simply can’t decide what to do, you’re likely to put off taking action.

Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies

I think we can agree that procrastination is a habit and often one that cannot be broken overnight. Habits are only broken when you have persistently stopped practicing them. It is my hope that these general tips will help motivate you to get moving:

  • First, you MUST have a 'to-do list,' and you must prioritize it. Look at it daily and adjust as needed.
  • Make up your own rewards, then enjoy them. If you’re like me, you’ll find tremendous satisfaction, a lessening of the guilt, and an enormous peace of mind when you take on the uncomfortable tasks. You’ll sleep better. You’ll free up mental energy to invest in more creative pursuits. Overall, you’ll become more productive.
  • Ask someone else to check up on you. Peer pressure works and will help you take accountability!
  • Set mini-goals. Think about working on tasks in 15-minute increments. You can actually get a lot done in 15 focused minutes, and surely you can commit to that short of a goal! Set the timer on your phone.
  • Finally, work on the quick small tasks first. I know many say work on the hard things first, but if you’ve been delaying on your responsibilities that can be completed quickly, you’ll find a tremendous sense of accomplishment in knocking those items off the list. Following such accomplishments, you will have time, to begin with the tougher tasks. Touch and go, get these done NOW.

So, if you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks repeatedly, moving items from today to tomorrow, recognize this. While many people procrastinate to some degree, don’t be so chronically affected by procrastination that it prevents you from fulfilling your true potential. Your future goals can be met by having a focus on every minute of every day. What are the essential items on your list that will make the difference in making a sale? So, whether you are a salesperson or a sales team leader, stop procrastination in its tracks by following through and taking charge.



Originally published May 24, 2017 under Explore the latest topics, updated March 11, 2024

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