Avoid procrastination and improve your decision making


Owning a business and procrastination are poor companions, which can lead to business failure. We give you some great tips to avoid procrastination and improve your decision making at the same time.

Decision making is an essential skill for a successful business owner to have, and one you must become comfortable using. Learning how to avoid procrastination and improve your decision making is time well spent, especially if you are new to business.

Listen in to SIOAB Episode 7 The Fundamental 4 as we explain why owning a business and procrastination don’t sit well together.

Dr. Joe Ferrai of De Paul University has some excellent research that might help you if you tend to procrastinate. Surprisingly, he points out that about 20% of us are chronic procrastinators.

Joseph Ferrari, DePaul University – Procrastination

We also thought it would be worth giving you some tips on how to speed up your decision making.

How to avoid procrastination and improve your decision making

Be clear about your purpose and focus on it, as decisions will then be easier to make.

A significant advantage that smaller businesses have is their ability to make decisions quickly and therefore respond very quickly to changing market conditions.

Speed is a significant advantage over larger competitors that you should exploit for your competitive edge. In smaller businesses, the owners are close to the business activity and therefore understand the impact of decisions. A business owner needs to be decisive to get benefits gained by seizing an opportunity.

Be nimble and make the right decisions quickly!

Large companies or companies that are part of a group can be slow to react. Decisions (especially those requiring capital expenditure) often have to go through layers of managers and meetings, proposal forms, capital expenditure approvals, justifications, etc.

Items are for scheduled meetings, and strict rules apply to how such applications are reviewed and approved. All this process adds delay and reduces their responsiveness.

Smaller businesses do not have this hindrance; however, it requires a decision, and ultimately that’s down to you.

With more complex or higher risk decisions, you might need some help, perhaps from a mentor if you have one.

Discuss important decisions with your support team or advisers to get another opinion if you’re not sure.

Two heads are better than one! In Episode 11 Your Support Team, we cover how to work out who you need on your support team.

Deciding “no” is still a decision.

It’s essential to recognize the difference between thinking something through for a while and procrastinating.

If you procrastinate for too long, then you are giving up one of your inherent advantages of being nimble and making the right decisions quickly.

A straightforward way to help avoid procrastination is to list the benefits you will gain from deciding versus the consequences if you don’t make the decision.

You can apply a weighting to the more important answers to help get some clarity, so you are not just acting on “gut feeling.”

This technique might help to decide whether the “pro’s” outweigh the “cons.”

Remember, deciding not to do something is still a decision, whereas, procrastination is simply avoiding making a decision.

What is the right decision?

What constitutes a “good decision” depends on the individual circumstance and the result of the decision. A vital aspect of any decision-making process is the time horizon.

You are in business to achieve results over the long term; hence, try to make decisions that will give long term benefits. Sometimes this can be difficult when there are attractive short-term gains.

Generally, look to the longer term, and use your resources in the best possible way. Try to make decisions that will reduce your cost base for years to come, as this may give a valuable competitive advantage in the future.

What if I make the wrong decision?

You will inevitably make wrong decisions because nobody gets every decision right.

Overcoming the fear of making a wrong decision is an essential step in your business owner mindset.

Not making any decisions through chronic procrastination will spell doom for your business and is probably far more damaging than the risk of a wrong decision.

The key is to avoid procrastination and improve your decision making consciously.

Understanding business ownership

Knowing how to avoid procrastination and improve decision making is an essential part of the success equation.

Brendan Barrow Co-Host

The Should I Own A Business Podcast-Listen Before You Leap.