I recently completed a project that I’d been procrastinating on for a long time. As I finished it I realized something; by completing this project I now had one less excuse for not doing something else. In my case finishing my company website allowed me one less reason why I should not be marketing my services to a broader market.
In our busy lives it is often easy to offer excuses for why things are the way they are or for why we don’t have the things we promised we would. We may say that we should not go for a run because we do not have the right shoes, or that we cannot achieve sales success because we do not have a good way to track sales leads. Both of these examples show that they can be holding us back from where we are trying to get to. In regards to the shoes they are holding us back from getting in better shape. The sales tracking tool is holding us back from greater job success.
It is often the case that the things that we procrastinate on are parts of larger visions. If left to our own devices, we will often look for an excuse for not making as much progress as we planned.
When I was running a large repair facility I used to hear excuses why things could not happen. I found it very powerful to listen to these excuses, and try to determine the underlying obstacle. I believe that you need to look deeper at these obstacles and see if removing them will benefit your organization. The solutions to these roadblocks were often quite simple. Sometimes it was as simple as ensuring people had the right tools for the job, or creating a simple, accessible database that listed critical information. Often it was easy to analyze the obstacle from a financial point of view and see that solving the problem would create value. Sometimes the long term benefit of removing the roadblock was not clear, but removing it often still had a strong benefit. By removing the obstacle I removed the chance that it could be used as a reason for something else not getting done.
Remove these excuses, tear down these barriers, and move forward. Whether it be at work or in your personal life, analyze the things that are holding you back and put solutions in place where possible.