20% of us are apparently procrastinators.
On my last day in Blighty for a while, I caught a Radio 4 show on this topic.
There have been some successful people so afflicted. Author Douglas Adams was famously twelve years late on one particular book deadline.
It’s difficult to see how a winning salesperson can be so, though.
Yet I’ve met many who do put off making that call, writing that email, sending an agenda, rehearsing their presentation.
I liked the story of a Harvard business school class that examined how to deal with a fictional Mr Nolan. Despite being a company auditor and considering himself a professional, he was woefully procrastinating, claiming that he was a perfectionist.
An interesting finding emerged. It was other procrastinators that reacted most violently towards him. More than the rest, they wanted him fired and openly blamed him for poor performance.
Put two procrastinators together and expect fireworks!
One fix was posited;
if you’re meant to cut down a tree, start off with giving me three branches, if that’s too much, give me a handful of leaves, but whatever you do, start it now, as a body in motion stays in motion
And this is what can save the swamped seller.
I was reminded of the classic Napoleonic urgent-versus-important time management steer.
Momentum is a wonderful thing. And we know this not just from Sir Isaac Newton. Remember, customers love motion. What little task can you bite off right now that’ll get you back on a roll?