“When I get round to it”

But do you?

Ever?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard this expression. It normally arises at times when people think they are too busy dealing with the urgent (but, mostly, unimportant) to bother – it’s regarded as trivial.

Social media is a (good) case in point.

Websites

Twitter

Blogging

None of these rank highly enough to warrant attention. Mostly, certainly in the professional services sector, it’s because people (fee earners) perceive it as someone else’s job.

For the record, this is not a play on getting you to accept that social media is the sine qua non of your business. Your (core) business is your business, and, for many, just doing the work is hard enough. But too much of what people come to rely upon is driven by historical behaviour and not by the now, and certainly not the future. Whether you like it or not, digital will play an increasingly important part of your business, and not just from a marketing perspective.

We all know and recognise the aphorism ‘nose to the grindstone’ but this, unfortunately, hides a multitude of sins:

  1. the wrong attitude;
  2. not focusing on doing the right work;
  3. not staying in contact with your important clients;
  4. an increase in stress; and
  5. ultimately, a business that is doomed to fail.

At this stage, you maybe inclined to dust off your Covey material but hold fire. You don’t need to draw up a complex matrix to work out what you should be doing.

You already know.

Of course, you have to work out a way to break the pattern that has stopped you focusing on the important aspects of your business and life. But, mostly, it’s a question of standing back, taking a long term view and working on your new regime bit by tiny bit.

Eating frogs aside, just make sure that you do something different today to what you did yesterday. If you can do that consistently, keeping your eye on whatever goal or prize you have set yourself, then you are 99% further along the road than everyone else.

I know this can be hard to do consistently but, in many ways, you have no choice. First things first isn’t just a fancy slogan. It’s a metaphor for life. If you do the most important thing first over and over, pretty soon you will see change. As I’ve said, you have to make sure you focus on the right outcome but in my case it’s the only way I know to break a repeated pattern of procrastination.

Finally, please remember to have fun. Not just the once a week, kick off the shoes and forget about work affair, but rather try and weave into your daily life more of the stuff you enjoy doing and less of the grunge. Why? It’s simple. You’ll quit or your level of effort will, by your standards, drop through the floor.

Working with me

I am available for speaking, consulting and coaching on all things social media, excellence and brand you. Please feel free to email me at juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or contact me on +44(0) 7588 815384. You can follow me on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn,  Tumblr.