Have you ever found yourself during an incredible burst of productivity right before a deadline? It’s amazing; you finally found the time to fix that leaking faucet, change all the burned-out lightbulbs in your house, re-watch the last episode of Westworld, and learn how to properly eat a banana. You’ve found the time to do just about everything – except the thing you were supposed to be doing in the first place, like get that 5th Super Bowl ring.
This is called procrastinating. You’re probably even doing it right now while reading this article.
You’re not alone – we’ve all been there. However, if you allow procrastination to become a pattern in your everyday life, you can experience some serious downsides.
Here are some tips to help you break free of the cycle:
The first step to stopping yourself from procrastinating is to notice that you’re doing it in the first place. As I mentioned above, if you’ve suddenly become exceptionally productive with otherwise mundane and useless tasks, you just might be procrastinating.
Another good way to tell is if you keep jumping past specific tasks on your To-Do list, with excuses like “I need to be in the mood” or “I need more time” or the glaringly obvious “I don’t want to do that.” Everything on your To-Do list needs To-Be-Done or it wouldn’t be there, so if you notice yourself routinely skipping something, call it out so you can do something about it.
Once you’ve identified the task that’s blocking you, it’s time to figure out why. Start thinking and asking yourself questions about what you dislike about the task that’s keeping you from completing it. Maybe it is something as simple as you don’t feel you have enough time to complete it. If that’s so, figure out how to give yourself that time so you can get it out of the way and move on. You may feel that you don’t have everything you need to complete the task, or you could be so concerned about the outcome that you’d rather not even start.
Usually, it is quite easy to figure out, but you must first take the time to examine your motivation.
Here’s where everything comes together (and can just as easily fall apart): you need to focus on your goal, and find a way that will allow you to complete it.
That task you’ve been avoiding (you know, the one that led you to read this article in the first place?) – Yeah that one – maybe it’s simply too big to get done in one chunk. Try breaking it down into smaller tasks.
Or, maybe it’s not within your skill set. It’s ok – we’re not meant to be good at everything. Find a way to delegate or get help with the parts of it that you simply aren’t comfortable doing, or outright cannot do.
Before you know it, you’ll be back on track, right in time to meet your next deadline.
And if this still doesn’t help, you can go back to Westworld again and try to figure out what on earth is going on in THAT SCENE.
When Angelina Lawton ran communications for the Tampa Bay Lightning, she could never understand how a company with such an exciting product–professional hockey, for goodness sake–managed to be so dull when it came time to pitch potential sponsors.
Her frustration spurred her to start a boutique agency, Sportsdigita, whichspecializesin making flashy presentations for pro sports sales departments–“a movie-trailer for franchises” is how she describes them. Nine years later, executives at more than450 teams, stadiums, and arenas haveused her multimedia slideshows, called Digidecks, to sell everything from merchandise licenses to luxury suites, she says.
But now the pandemic haspostponed professionalsports seasons, and widespread protestshaveLawton’s bread-and-butter clients–the sales groups–lying low. To keep revenue growing and her company afloat,Lawton ispivoting to target customers in new fields from financial services to health care.
Work-at-home sales teams at all kinds of businesses must now figure out how to close deals from afar–and they can use all the help they can get.
“Covid-19 has opened up people’s eyes to remote selling and collaborating,” says Lawton. “Our product is perfect for that.”
When Lawton first started marketing souped-up sales decks to sports and events companies, the multimedia opportunitieswere obvious.Looking to sell advertising rights to the billboards in the outfield? Show a star centerfielder leaping for a catch in front of them. Marketing the luxury suites for your arena? Play clips of the games, concerts, and monster truck rallies that clients will be able to see up-close from the box.
In 2016, she decided to focus on the hard part, the software–andbegan selling it as a service sosalespeople could produce the digidecks in-house. The move put her into direct competition with legacy competitors like Microsoft PowerPoint, as well as subscription-based online software, such asPrezi. Even so, since pivoting to this software-as-a-service model, Sportsdigita revenue has grown over 200 percent, to $4 million in 2018, which putthe company at No. 1,993 on last year’sInc. 5000 ranking of fastest-growing private U.S. businesses. It ranked at No. 146 on this year’s Inc. 5000 series Midwest list. Today, 80 percent of the company’s revenue comes from software subscriptions, and the rest fromservices. Clients include the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Now, with sporting events on hold and tensions high from weeks of protests, high-profile sports teams don’t want to be seen as tone-deaf amid the unrest. Like entrepreneurs across the world, Lawton was forced to rethinkbasic assumptions about her company and customers.
Her company has already made some early scores: insurerMutual of America, Cargill, the giant food conglomerate, and Jostens, the seller of high school yearbooks and class rings, have signed on as clients. They haveexisting libraries of media–salespeople can populate the decks with pre-loaded photo and video options from their ownexisting ads, and then present them in tandem with Zoom calls or other videoconferencing software.
Next, Sportsdigita is planning to add videoconferencing to Digideckas well, requiring new kinds of software expertise and putting the company up against the likes of Zoom.
For Sportsdigita, the new revenue has offset the slump in sports, andLawton says the company is once again on track with its pre-Covid growth targets.And her new clients? Their presentations may lack the same jaw-dropping action of their pro sports counterparts–but their infographics and bullet points are leaping off the screen like all-stars.
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