WHAT IS PROCRASTINATION?
Procrastination is the avoidance or intentional delay of a task that is important or has a deadline. According to Dr Piers Steel (2007), who has dedicated his life to researching procrastination, “95% of the population procrastinate at times, with 20% being chronic procrastinators”. Chronic procrastination may affect people so badly that they jeopardise their business, credit rating, relationships and health.
Salon owners may find themselves delaying important projects such as marketing campaigns, paying bills and doing taxes, cleaning, repairs or attending to the dreaded piles of paperwork. By nature, most salon professionals whether they are hairstylists, barbers or nail artists prefer to focus on the creative side of work and may find the business tasks tedious, overwhelming or boring.
Unfortunately, avoiding these vital tasks can seriously effect your business, client retention, professionalism and finances. Statistics (Guro 2008) show that 40% of people have suffered a financial loss due to procrastination. So there is good reason to tackle procrastination head on and implement good strategies to reduce wasting of your precious time.
“Procrastination is the thief of time” Charles Dickens.
WHY DO YOU PROCRASTINATE?
While writing this section, I definitely feel like procrastinating…Why? Because while researching this question, there were so many answers that I started to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content. Feeling overwhelmed is definitely a reason why people procrastinate (I’m just off to get a coffee now).
We all procrastinate for different reasons. Reflecting on why you procrastinate can help you to find strategies that are more suited to your situation. According to Dr Joseph Ferrari (2010), there are three types of procrastinators:
THRILL SEEKERS: Some people believe that they work better under pressure and like the thrill or chaos that pushes them to finish a project. This is true for some people, they really do work better under pressure but for some, this is a slightly delusional idea that they tell themselves to avoid a task. Optimists also fall into this category of procrastinators as they believe a task won’t take as long as it does.
AVOIDERS: Avoiders like to avoid anything uncomfortable or that causes anxiety. The reasons can include; a lack of confidence in the task, feeling overwhelmed (like me) or an inability to delay gratification (I want chocolate, right now!).
INDECISIVE: This group suffers from a fear of failure, fear of making decisions or perfectionism. They also might engage in overthinking which leads to analysis paralysis and makes things so much harder to start.
I would also like to add a point to this from Dr Steel (2007) who believes that fatigue is also a reason people may procrastinate. He states in his book, The Procrastination Equation, that 28% of people “Didn’t have enough energy to begin the task’ and that “Fatigue increases task-aversion, saps interest, and makes the difficult excruciating”. I’m sure we have all experienced that at some point, right? But it’s not all bad, there is some good news.
THE BENEFITS OF PROCRASTINATION.
Have you ever heard of positive or active procrastination? Well, for some people procrastination is a good thing (yay!) and here are some reasons why.
BETTER DECISION MAKING – No snap decisions are made, so every aspect of the task has been thoroughly thought through.
GOOD IS BETTER THAN PERFECT – There is no time to fuss over minute details, so perfectionists are forced to get the job done.
IMPROVED FOCUS– Looming deadlines get you into action and you have no choice but to focus and this helps get you into the flow and increases creativity.
MAKES OTHER TASK SEEM EASIER – People often do smaller jobs first instead of the impending task and it makes them seem easy in comparison.
And you are also in good company. Did you know Leonardo Davinci took 16 years to complete the Mona Lisa? Other famous self-proclaimed procrastinators include the Dali Lama, Bill Clinton, Victor Hugo, and Truman Capote. So procrastination doesn’t mean that you won’t achieve your goals or make a success out of your salon business but if it is a problem for you, read on to get some tips on how to beat procrastination.
WAYS TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION.
“If you are good at putting off things… then put off procrastination“
REMOVE DISTRACTIONS – Firstly, identify your distractions, then modify your environment to decrease them. The internet and social media are definitely the easiest and most convenient ways to procrastinate in your salon business. Time is easily wasted by checking news feeds and social media. Social media notifications are a sure-fire way to avert your attention away from your more laborious responsibilities. So put away your phones, log off your social media accounts or at least disable notifications and get on with it.
BITE SIZE PIECES – When confronted with a big daunting task, it’s easy to become intimidated or overwhelmed. Set yourself aside 20 minutes to start on a project that you have been putting off, instead of aiming to finish it all in one go. Chances are, just making a start can be the kick you need to get going on a task. Maybe, once you make that start you will find that you get into the flow and you don’t want to stop.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase… just take the first step” Martin Luther King
FIGHT FATIGUE – A discussed earlier, fatigue is a huge factor in encouraging procrastination. We all know how busy and chaotic the salon business can get, so it is beneficial to take measures to combat fatigue as best we can. Preventing fatigue includes getting enough sleep, taking regular breaks and holidays, eating right, getting enough sleep, adequate sun exposure and avoiding stress.
POWER HOURS – Are you a morning person or a night owl? It really doesn’t matter when you get your business orientated tasks done, as long as you do them. If you feel more alert and at your best in the mornings, schedule a block of time dedicated to your most dreaded task. When your brain is not fatigued and working at full capacity, those tasks are much easier to tackle.
MAKE A PROCRASTINATION LIST – Make a list of all the things you can do that don’t take up too much energy or brain power so your procrastination time is not wasted on meaningless tasks. Some of these might include, but are not limited to; Cleaning out your email inbox, optimising your website, designing and scheduling social media posts, organising photos for marketing campaigns, reading industry magazines or blogs, organising and printing reports.
REWARD YOURSELF – Paradoxically, procrastination is rewarding in itself. Procrastination can relieve anxiety in the short term which is rewarding, plus we tell ourselves positive things like “I’ll do it tomorrow”, which makes us feel better. Furthermore, the things we choose to do while procrastinating are usually things we find rewarding such as checking our social media, watching silly Youtube videos, chatting on the phone with friends, etc. So the answer is to reward your good behaviour, not your procrastination. Set yourself small manageable chunks and when they are completed, reward yourself by doing something you like or buying a fancy coffee. This encourages task orientated behaviour, not procrastination and prompts you to delay gratification until after the job is done, and not before.
GET A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT – Why not make business orientated tasks quicker and easier. Neko Salon Software gives you all the tools to remove tedious paperwork from your to-do list and gives you the ability to bring up business progress reports at the touch of a button. Neko manages anything from bookings, point of Sale, staff and stock management, financial reports, automated SMS reminders, loyalty programs and marketing campaigns. At the end of each day, simply run an end of day sales report and make tax time a breeze by just printing out your yearly reports. It’s quick, it’s easy and will streamline your business, giving you more time to do what you love, even if that is a bit of positive procrastination.
SET SMART GOALS – Quite often people set themselves goals that are unrealistic and very vague. By learning better ways to set goals you give yourself a much better chance of reaching your target. Setting business goals is great but how will you achieve them? To help ensure success in achieving those goals, it can be useful to implement S.M.A.R.T principles. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that brings structure and measurability to your goals. To read more about setting business goals go to https://www.getneko.com/business-goal-setting-for-2019/
Well, I hope you have gained some useful knowledge about procrastination and how you can improve your motivation to get all those mundane and irritating tasks completed.
At Neko, we want your salon business to grow and thrive, so we are always thinking of ways to improve our software and give you all the necessary tools to make your business better. We also enjoy providing you with valuable business information via this blog. So please comment below and let us know what topics you would like to read about.
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