We all procrastinate. And we all wish we didn’t. How many times have you promised yourself, this time will be different, only to keep putting off important tasks until last minute, then scrambling to finish? It’s a stressful, unpleasant way to live and work. Procrastination eats up valuable time and makes us all more likely to make mistakes. It gets squarely in the way of your quality of life and of running an organized business.
In order to break through procrastination problem, need to identify why you’re procrastinating. Psychologists and other scientists who study procrastination say it has everything to do with mood. It’s not so much the tasks themselves but the feelings that build up about our work that cause us to put things off.
For practice owners, a number of factors can come together to create a negative mindset about our work—and a tendency to procrastinate. Until you understand what’s driving your procrastination, you can’t fix this problem.
Finally addressing the procrastination in your routine helps you work better, smarter, faster—and happier. Less procrastination means more time away from your clinic, and feeling better when you are there. You’ll also be in a position to choose the work you want to focus on, rather than rushing to get done a whole bunch of low-energy must-do’s from your to-do list.
What practice owner doesn’t want more control and choice over how they spend their time?
4 reasons PT owners put things off:
Lack of systems in place
A lack of systems in your practice has a trickle-down effect on every aspect of operations, including your own work habits, and how you feel about the work you do every day. Marketing, finances, training, employee relations, referrals: each sector of your business will benefit from implementing systems. Organization makes your work easier, more predictable, more controllable—and ultimately, more profitable. That all makes you much less likely to put off what needs to be done.
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Not enough knowledge and training
Sometimes, we procrastinate because we just don’t know enough about what we’re doing. Gaps in knowledge and expertise are nothing to be ashamed of. When left un-addressed, these knowledge gaps can make the work feel harder and daunting than it really is. That’s the kind of stress that leads directly to procrastination. PT practice owners are often thrown into the deep end of the business world, without the training they need to swim successfully in that pool. You trained for your clinical career. It makes sense you’d need training for business career you’re in now.
Plenty of PTs are perfectionists. Procrastination is a hallmark symptom of perfectionism. It’s exhausting, and gets in the way of growth—your business growth and your own personal growth. If you are a perfectionist, you don’t have to stay that way. Start practicing self-compassion. Learn how to set realistic expectations, and watch as your mood—and your business-starts to soar.
Too much work on your plate
Too many PT owners work crushing hours, week after week, month after month. A workload that’s impossible to sustain can be devastating to our mood and mindset. When you constantly have more to do than you could ever hope to complete in a day/week/month, you’re going to feel awful and you’re going to put things off. Are you exhausted, worn out, overwhelmed, with too much competing for your attention? You need systems for delegating, and help re-envisioning your role in your own practice.