It happens to us all at one time or another; it is time to end what was a fantastic relationship. I’m sure it’s happened to you too, are you like many people who dither and procrastinate over ending a relationship? The relationships limp on,  fatally injured, in the hope that things will improve, under misguided loyalty, or for no real reason. In reality the only reason for the delay is……procrastination. This article is for you, if you ever suffer procrastination when dealing with problem staff (or other decisions).

Procrastination in dealing with problem staff. Using the metaphor of my bike

So you find yourself clinging onto things well after their “sell by date” and wishing you didn’t?

Dumping the trusty Townsend, the back story

Just in case you’re worrying (or your name is Heather), my trusty Townsend is my bike. I’ve had it for about 20 years and have had some really good times on it.

But over the last year or so it’s not been as efficient as it used to be (it’s old and heavy – or that me?). What’s more bits are starting to wear out, and I’ve been putting up with them, until the gears stuck whilst pedalling up a hill in traffic. That was it, that’s when I decided it had to go this time. This was a clear case of procrastination and delayed decision making giving me a real problem.

Is that just like life in you firm?

The worst kind of staff are NOT the really bad ones

Yes, you did read that. The really bad staff are easy to decide about, you put in place appropriate actions and deal with them.

In most small firms there are a few staff that are not quite bad enough to deal with. It’s always tempting to deal with them another day, but another day never arrives as there are always more important things to do.

Here’s a thought to help you deal with the worst kind of staff (other than stop procrastinating, make that decision and get on with it as you’ll feel better); everything your team do is a result of communication between you and your them!

One of the reasons people don’t like giving staff feedback is because they put it off as they fear it will be really difficult. So, give more feedback, in smaller doses, more often. Feedback good items and bad items, but don’t store them up! Feedback gives you a way to be always improving communication.  Read Giving your staff Feedback: Don’t make a meal of it!

3 points to preventing procrastination

  1. Perfection is the enemy! Far too many professionals spend their life in search of perfection, when it rarely exists. Even if it did exist, it’s changed before you achieve it. Sometimes it’s important to realise that doing something and improving it later, it more important than not getting round to doing it. The other week I met somebody client who still hasn’t got their website live, as they’re trying to make sure it’s perfect. When I pointed out that an absent website was no use, they say the point.Procrastinating in dealing with problem staff. Using the metaphor of my bike
  2. “Mental bandwidth”. Sometimes we have too much going on in our heads at any one time. It slows everything down and eventually things grind to a halt. What could you release from your mind by saying “that’s it, done” – or “no it’s not happening for three months” (and diarising it).
  3. Fear: What are your false expectations about reality? If you were to make that decision, what might go wrong, really? Now that you’ve realised that, can you release some energy and complete the task?

Download our free report “Preventing Procrastination”, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required). By the way, if you’re thinking about downloading that report, do it – stop waiting!!

So, did I dump the trusty Townsend? My new bike is now on order and I look forward to receiving it.

What is your favourite tip for speeding up decisions, moving on and preventing procrastination?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access