Why You Should Procrastinate
New York-based leadership consultant Kelly Higgins had an idea for a new business initiative—a membership continuity program to give her consulting clients more support and value while increasing her visibility and enhancing her “expert” status. She thought about how to move the idea forward and discussed it with colleagues and friends. Six months later, though, she was involved in other projects and seemed to be making little headway with the more heart-connected effort. Kelly began to doubt herself, and couldn’t decide if she wasn’t managing her time well, if her priorities were off kilter or if she was just being lazy.
Perhaps she really was making progress, though it was less tangible than expected. Kelly had been experimenting mentally with her ideas, making contacts with people who had done similar or related things and talking with people in her target market about what their needs were. All of this was percolating in a positive way, so when she was ready to take action, it would be informed, inspired and highly focused instead of wasted effort. Meanwhile, she was investing most her energy into strengthening current revenue streams.
Most business people face this kind of postponed initiative, and it affects not only their self-perception, but also their effectiveness and productivity. Here’s a three-step fix—it isn’t what you’d expect:
1. Let your feet drag
In an Orlando-area workshop, participants were developing a more in-depth picture of what they wanted their future to look like, including business and career goals, financial profile, personal aspirations, relationships and home life. Denise Daniels, who had sold her family business a few months earlier, hoped to leave with a clear and thorough idea of what was next for her. Despite a variety of visioning exercises, it didn’t happen for her that evening. She simply wasn’t ready yet. Pushing for “the right answer” when the broad outline isn’t yet settled results in wheel-spinning, at best.