Holidays are coming, which means another
year end/beginning – is your business ready?
How much is procrastination costing your business?
According to the European Journal of Economics, procrastination can be defined as “avoidance of the implementation of an intention, [and] frustrates an individual’s stated purposes by simply putting it off until it’s too late or nearly too late.” ('Effect Procrastination on Work-Related Stress’)
Does this seem familiar at all?
Expenses. Paying bills. Typing up minutes & agendas. Filing a tax return. Finding the cheapest flights for the next business trip.
Often such admin is viewed as monotonous, boring, low-impact tasks that take up precious creative and profit-driving time. People procrastinate in the workplace because they put off tasks that they should be focusing on right now in favour of doing something they are more comfortable doing or find more enjoyable. It is not always the case that this time is wasted or used for non-work related tasks – sometimes more exciting or ‘time-worthy’ projects overtake these boring tasks.
“But why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?”
We are all guilty of this attitude at times, myself included. And when it applies to things like food shopping, washing the car or hoovering, it’s not that big a deal.
But when you procrastinate with your business, it’s a different story.
Not only has procrastination been linked to wasted time, poor performance and work released stress, it costs the UK economy millions through lost productivity, stress-related disease and absenteeism.
If this sounds like something you or your staff may have suffered from, you are not alone.
It is a problem that is not just visible in small pockets of the workforce; with the UK ranking only 14th out of 34 European countries both in terms of hours worked and in terms of productivity, it is a problem which spans the UK and much of Europe.
How can we avoid it and drive productivity?
Start to list all of the things you tend to procrastinate. You will find that often they are things that you don’t enjoy doing.
Could you ask someone else to do these tasks? Perhaps an expert in the field, like sending your admin to SmartPA?
We have also been told that these procrastinated tasks are often put off because people don’t know how to do them or are afraid that they will mess them up. Again, get help from professionals.
Rather than spending hours trying to read the small print on your tax return, or trawling the internet trying every flight website to save a few pounds; delegate such tasks to a team of experts to save you not just stress and aggravation, but time - as we all know, time = money.
Top 3 Resourceful Moments
Providing directions to client lost abroad with no access to Wifi
Comparing different bottles of Prosecco in order to choose the best option for Christmas presents
Working through a client’s diary to create a fully online business contact database for mailing lists
Meet the Team - Michelle Scarisbrick
Tell us about your background
After living in Hampshire for the first 18 years of my life I went ‘up north’ to university in Leeds where I met my husband. I found that a degree in Classical Civilisation didn’t easily equate itself to a specific career so moved to the Wirral where my husband was offered a job.
I worked in a number of roles, most recently on the new National Curriculum and reform of GCSEs. It then came to making a decision on should I stay or should I go (in the words of The Clash), and I finally took the leap, wanting to use the skills I have developed and became a partner with SmartPA – and the rest as they say is history.
What is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job has to be freeing up clients time so they can focus on what they went into business for, when they have ‘let it go, so they can grow’ as I like to say.
What are you known best for in the office?
To be honest I’m not quite sure – it could be my top rate database and spreadsheets!
Best and worst things in life?
I guess for the best things I should say my family, and they would have to be top but closely followed by the kids being in bed and me watching some US comedy show with a lovely glass of wine.
The worst things – that’s quite tough but in no particular order I would say
1) snakes – they are evil
2) peanut butter – eurrggghhhh
3) average speed checks – just why
Who would play you in a film of your life?
I think I’d have to say Emma Watson or Michelle Pfeiffer. The reason being... not sure really!
The SmartPA offices will be closed from 12pm on Monday 23rd December for the Christmas break, returning on Monday 30th December where it will be business as usual. Then back with a bang for 2014 on Monday 6th January.