When it comes to dealing with procrastination, Dan Ariely emphasizes the importance of setting deadlines in Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.
During a semester-long experiment at MIT, Ariely demonstrated that even elite students need to set deadlines to improve performance. In one 12-week experiment involving classes that must complete three main papers by the end of the semester, the author found that a class with evenly spaced deadlines dictated by the professor outperformed a class that could choose its own deadlines, which in turn performed better than another class that received no deadlines at all!
As Ariely states, “Interestingly, these results suggest that although almost everyone has problems with procrastination, those who recognize and admit their weakness are in a better position to utilize available tools for precommitment and by doing so, help themselves overcome it.” (Italics added by me.) This came from 800 CEO Read. I recommend you read all their posts on other great books. It’s the next best thing to actually reading the whole book.
Procrastination is a common fault of most humans but it is even easier for an entrepreneur because he or she has no one to be “accountable” to. What things are you putting off right now? Sit down and make a list then put deadlines next to each one. If you use Outlook or another similar software you can add it to your TASKS and it pops up automatically. You can run but not hide!
PS Steve Toburen has written extensively on adding accountability into your business. (Both with your employees and your self.) Look under the Special Reports section of the Resources page on our Topic Bar above for his Report: “Adding Employee Accountability to Your Company.”