How to tame your Instant Gratification Monkey05th May 2021
If you haven’t watched Tim Urban’s TED Talk on procrastination, don’t wait.
Watch it now. It’s funny and clever.
Urban, who’s a popular writer, identifies two types of procrastinator.
The first is working on a project with a deadline. Rationally, they know they shouldn’t leave the work until the last minute.
But the “Instant Gratification Monkey” takes over their brain, finding urgent reasons to read Wikipedia entries on long-forgotten scandals...
...Watch YouTube interviews with Justin Bieber’s mum...
...And check what’s in the fridge every 10 minutes.
Just before the deadline, the procrastinator realises that they’ll pay a price if their project isn’t completed on time. The “Panic Monster” takes over!
They suddenly discover a heroic work ethic and meet their deadline - albeit with lots of anxiety and stress.
All’s well that ends well, because the effects of the procrastination are contained.
But there’s also a second type of procrastination which isn’t talked about as much, but is both more common and more destructive.
It happens when there’s no deadline, so the Panic Monster never takes over...
...And the procrastination extends forever.
Urban explains that we all have this type of procrastinator within us - even people who have a healthy relationship with deadlines.
Maybe you have dreams for your career, which you’ve never pursued...
You might want to exercise more or eat more healthily, but never get started...
Or maybe you intend to work on your relationship - “one day.”
Since there’s no deadline, there’s no urgency.
But it can be the source of huge guilt, unhappiness and regret, because you never even get started on projects and goals which are actually very important to you.
I want to add one very specific item to that list...
Business owners who know that their company’s finances are not well managed, and that this needs to be fixed...
...But constantly put off the job.
Have you ever thought the following?
- “My gut feeling is that our bookkeeper is making a mess of our accounts, but replacing him is a big deal... I’ll sort it out once COVID’s over.”
- “Working without proper numbers is really hard... I feel like I’m trying to steer this ship without a rudder. I’ve got some massive client jobs going on right now though - I’ll sort it out once everything’s calmed down.”
- “I have no idea whether I can afford to hire right now - I really need help with financial forecasting. But I have a new marketing drive I need to sort out first - I’ll sort out the finances when that’s out of the way.”
Here’s the truth.
If you’ve spent the last few years procrastinating about your company’s financial management...
...Chances are that you’re not going to sort it out once COVID is over, once your workload lightens or when you’ve finally dealt with your urgent marketing project.
It’s something you don’t really want to do.
And because there’s no real deadline to upgrade your financial management, you can continue procrastinating long-term. The Panic Monster will never appear, so there’ll always be something more attractive and more important to deal with first.
You might feel guilty about it, because you recognise that sorting out your finances is an important part of your job.
And you might feel unhappy about it, because companies with poor financial management are always more chaotic and more stressful to run than companies with smooth financial management. They’re certainly harder to grow!
Still, you procrastinate.
So how do you break out of this trap?
Tim Urban has one solution - you’ll have to watch his TED Talk to find out what it is.
Personally, I don’t think you should try to fix your financial management yourself. If you haven’t been motivated enough to do it so far, don’t fight human nature.
Instead, why don’t you call us and let us do the bulk of the work for you.
We can put all the right people and systems in place, so that your money’s handled professionally and carefully at all times... Make sure you have all the financial reports and forecasts you need to understand your financial position... And give you expert financial advice, to help you make better financial decisions for your future.
I can’t say you won’t have to lift a finger - we work closely with all our clients.
But we’ll do the vast majority.
And most importantly, you won’t have to figure any of it out yourself. We’ve been through this process with dozens of companies just like yours, and have turnkey systems and processes ready to implement in your business on Day 1.
We can ensure your company has world-class financial management without it feeling like a burden to you.
All you need to do is one tiny little thing: Phone 01279 647 447 or hit ‘reply’ to this blog, to get in touch with us today.
And I do mean today...
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