Let’s face it, we all do it from time to time.
At home, doing the housework, washing your car, doing your tax returns (I’m kidding! I know you don’t delay it 😉 ) but at the end of the day, we all procrastinate.
I’m writing this article to highlight the pros and cons of such a large part of our daily lives basically due to the fact that it’s as common as breathing and can be as dangerous as an earthquake. Ok maybe I’m exaggerating with the earthquake bit, but you get the idea.
According to the ever-knowledgeable “go to” website for information, Wikipedia, the word Procrastination is described as;
“The avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished”
Now let’s break that down. In your everyday life, we do this the whole time, it’s part of your decision-making process that needs to happen in order to fully organise your day to day tasks. Simple right? Wrong! We use many excuses, to ourselves mind you, as to why we didn’t do a task that we should have. Who are we kidding? We are literally lying to ourselves as to why we chose not to do something!
Now where the problem lies, is when this type of decision-making crops up when you are in business.
You see, in a business environment, making a decision to do something over another is something we have to do, we are trained to do, and is something that we are paid to do. Organise. We have to choose what’s more important based on factors like time, budget, resources etc and the upper echelon of the business world call this “management”.
But what if we subconsciously chose not to do something because we are afraid of the consequences, or simply because we do not know what the outcome maybe, or in fact, fear of getting it wrong? Is that still procrastination? If you create an excuse for this to say otherwise, then yes it is.
An example of that would be in my line of work recently, where we started a campaign about migrating companies to Microsoft Office 365. Now Microsoft has a very reputable name when it comes to software, in fact, i’m writing this article using their software and somehow, you are using their software to read it. Oh, how the world turns.
Yet, for some reason, people in the management of companies that we surveyed when asked why they did not move to Office 365, came up with some brilliant excuses as to why they did not. Some of these include; “Nah it’s too expensive, we couldn’t afford it” or “I read somewhere that we will lose all of our mail” and my favourite one “sure the cloud is less secure than having mail on my own server here in my building” oh the joys.
Let’s dissect that for a minute. Cost is, of course, always a playing factor when deciding to purchase a new feature or software for your business, if it was free, then everybody would be doing it. In fact, when we broke it down for them, they realised that Office 365 was far cheaper than what they were being charged for and what they are getting in terms of features, support, reliability and cost per user. So in other words, better bang for your buck!
Another one here is if anybody starts a sentence with “I read somewhere…” then this person has no clue about what they are about to say in the second part of their waffling sentence. It’s a fact, you read it right here 😉 As of course, they read somewhere that all of their existing emails would simply disappear! Poof! Gone! This is 100% not true, Microsoft Migration tools are well equipped to handle all your old mail and migrate them to a new mail server, without ever losing a single old email. Sweet right?
And now to my final one, the spooky cosmic “cloud fear” that overwhelms SME’s and inadvertently forces them to avoid anything cloud based for ever and ever. You know what I’m talking about, the guy in the office who say “cloud computing is unsecured, can be hacked and is too difficult to migrate to” well, he’s wrong. Completely in fact. After we discussed this with the company, we showed them that out of the 17 software solutions they use to run their day to day operations, 8 of those were in fact cloud platforms. If only I had a camera to capture his expression.
Now I know you’re saying “what has this got to do with procrastination in business?” Well, those 3 reasons that people gave are out of lack of knowledge, financial fear and personal vindication. They used a simple excuse that would cover them if asked, why they did not Migrate to Office 365, and in turn, put a risk on your business.
To conclude this article, procrastination in business is a negative tangled web of excuses that at the end of the day, slow productivity down. Uneducated guesswork that is the foundation of a bad decision is why businesses fail. Nobody wants that, do they? Of course not! I may have procrastinated myself while writing this article, but at the end of the day, it was done. We move on. We adapt to new technologies and not cease to acknowledge them purely based on unfounded knowledge. So make an educated choice.
Oh and by the way, if you are considering a move to Office 365 and are unsure of what it entails, download our free ebook that quashes the myths behind it, and put your procrastination to bed, make the right choice.