hmmmm… what to do today? I think I’ll procrastinate

When thinking back to October when Pierce and I first started laying out the foundation for this project, I’ll admit it took way longer than I would like to confess. So how does that fit into slow is smooth and smooth is fast? It’s about the process. The first time through a process will be slow. But you give Pierce and I another opportunity to build a Gambrel Style Barn and I can guarantee that it will take us 30% less time maybe even half.

Now some of that slowness is for obvious reasons: 1.) we had never built a building from scratch before (a treehouse was our largest project to date) 2.) we had to pause for holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas (two weeks), New Years, four birthday celebrations, and March Madness 3.) the legal aspects of building on your property – local codes, inspections, etc. 4.) we didn’t always have the right tools for the job, or the right people. 5.) this old boy ain’t quite as fit and healthy as I once was and so my mental pace didn’t match my physical pace

But let me point out one reason that may not be so obvious, but one that we all deal with. This reason will become greater with the level of risk assumed in taking on a task or a project. But this reason is also a learned behavior and it can be nurtured and spread like wildfire even into simple everyday type tasks. I’m trying to think of another sentence to put into this paragraph before telling you what that reason is… Okay, I’ll just tell you, it’s procrastination.

“Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear.

David J. Schwartz

And so along the way in this process we got to tasks where the risk was high and past experiences were at a low, which meant trust was gone. Any time you lose trust in yourself, another person or a product speed will decline. The point is I have some finish work that I’m not familiar with and that will mean slow pace – maybe much slower than I’d like. For example, we have yet to build and hang the two 4×8 foot barn doors for the front of the barn. I’m sure that once I do it, I’ll discover that it wasn’t as hard as I’ve made out to be in my mind. But alas, I’m fearful that I’ll get it wrong and then I’ll have to look at something that’s not right or worse work with something that doesn’t function properly. It’s that fear of failure thing again.

The point is big projects typically take longer than expected, but if you don’t plan well big projects will take twice as long, or worse yet, not get done at all. I remember filling out a Gantt Chart for getting the project done before we left on Christmas vacation (way over-ambitious, but we did get dried in by then). But here we are at the beginning of May – seven months later – and we are putting the finishing touches on it.

Think about this in business, is your lack of trust causing your business to work at a snail’s pace compared to what you could be working at if you had complete trust in it?

What would cause you to reduce or even eliminate procrastination in regards to something particular?

What are things that you could do to build trust and increase the speed of your business?

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