Procrastinating: Why We Do It and How to Fight It 91

Procrastinating: Why We Do It and How to Fight It [Infographic] - letsreachsuccess.com

This is a guest post by Garvin Ferdinand – the Vice President at The Gold Standard MCAT. He is passionate about improving students’ chances of medical school admissions.

Procrastinating is a natural thing in many ways but sometimes people can be chronically affected by it and it stops them from getting things done.

18% believe that procrastination has an extremely negative effect on their happiness. It’s amazing that nearly 1 in 5 people are chronically affected by procrastination.

What can you do to reduce procrastinating?

First of all, it’s important to identify why we procrastinate.

Research shows that 61% of students are procrastinating because they believe they have ‘too many other things to do’. Does organization play a role in procrastination?

How do we procrastinate?

What keeps us from doing the stuff we want to get done? Watching movies and TV seems to be the primary culprit with social media coming in a close second. Many of us will have experienced being in the middle of getting work done and flicking to our Facebook to check for updates and messages.

This is a very dangerous practice as even one minute looking at your Facebook will totally throw your concentration. This is especially true for work that requires a high level of concentration.

Luckily there are now some great productivity apps to keep us away from the temptations of social media. For example, Anti-Social blocks you out of Facebook while you’re working on a project.

It’s interesting to explore our thought process when we are procrastinating.

What happens when we delay doing a task?

Usually there is a very typical procrastination roadmap that stops us from competing out tasks. One thing for sure is that if you do postpone getting something done, you will regret it later. Understanding that regret will come later may help you control your level of procrastination.

We make the same mistakes time and time again. It’s incredible how often we overestimate how much time is available and underestimate how much time is needed to complete a task. This results in a last minute rush and extreme mental torment.

Another mistake people make is that they think they should only work if they’re in the mood, as otherwise performance will be sub-optimal. While it may be true that your performance will not be perfect if you’re not in the mood, you need to remember that getting some work done is better than none!

To take control of procrastinating you need to understand what’s happening in your mind when procrastination strikes.

When you understand why you’re procrastinating you can take steps to control it. It will often be a natural impulse to procrastinate. But when you evaluate your thought process and have clarity on the reasons why you’re doing it, that should help to reduce it.

Progress won’t happen overnight and you should start getting results in small increments. In time, you will build confidence in yourself and it will be easier to kill procrastination.

What about you? Is procrastinating a problem in daily life and how do you fight it?

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

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Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.