Are you stealing your own time?

Fuel Marketing Blog ImageSometimes the Nike strapline “Just Do It” screams in my head as I meet clients or prospective clients who seem to prefer procrastination and prevarication to actual getting on and doing things in their businesses. And whilst I am a big fan of working things through, I do feel that there is a real danger that over-thinking can talk you out of any kind of action whatsoever - essentially paralysis by analysis.


Take one of my clients for example. I wrote a marketing strategy and plan for their business way back in February and whilst they did not require my services to implement either element, they did retain my services for monthly and quarterly reviews. It’s been six months now since the very simplistic and highly detailed marketing plan came into force, and to date not one item on the plan has been completed.

Sometimes the Nike strapline “Just Do It” screams in my head as I meet clients or prospective clients who seem to prefer procrastination and prevarication to actual getting on and doing things in their businesses. And whilst I am a big fan of working things through, I do feel that there is a real danger that over-thinking can talk you out of any kind of action whatsoever - essentially paralysis by analysis.


Take one of my clients for example. I wrote a marketing strategy and plan for their business way back in February and whilst they did not require my services to implement either element, they did retain my services for monthly and quarterly reviews. It’s been six months now since the very simplistic and highly detailed marketing plan came into force, and to date not one item on the plan has been completed.

Diversion not focus!

No instead of actually cracking on with the plan, I have been copied in on a wealth of diversionary tactics. These range from converting the plan into a different and more visual format, devising mind maps, using apps to create new styles and designs and then sending invitations to share documents on an almost weekly basis. In my mind these are all examples of things we do to feel we are actually doing something, without actually doing the one thing that we were supposed to be doing – i.e. some marketing!

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem folks is my motto here. So if you are the type of person who is unable to implement stuff in your business and instead talks a good game, then my advice is to outsource that function to someone who will do it for you. After all, outsourcing the tasks we don’t want to do is what drives efficiencies and of course gives us time to focus on the areas that we are good at. So to other small business owners out there, be wary of the prevaricators. They will drive you potty and as well as wasting their own time, they don’t appear to feel any guilt about wasting yours too.

Top tips for spotting procrastinators!

Sometime their disguise is ingenious and you’ll be impressed by their knowledge and their get up and go levels of enthusiasm. However like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, not everything is how it appears. Here are my top tips for spotting their behaviours early enough so that you can do something about it.

  • A varied career where they have never stayed in the same job/on the same project for more than a few months
  • Butterfly brain, which means that they are unable to concentrate on what you are talking about , preferring instead to take you in a random direction of jargon and good intention
  • Display an ability to look far too far into the future and do not appear to have any idea or want to discuss realistically about how they are going to get there
  • Cannot easily provide any evidence from happy clients  – i.e. testimonials, case studies
  • Possess numerous spreadsheets with limitless forecasts and projections of their business into the next millennia

 And just to scare you even more, I read an interesting article about the “Ten Habits of Incompetent Managers”. Point 6 made me laugh.

“Focus on small tasks: Produce the most perfect charts, forecasts and spreadsheets. Always on time and volunteer for projects in which they have no core expertise, i.e. marketing plans, meetings with clients and suppliers, offices reorganisation. Essentially it’s just displacement activity to hide the fact that they can’t do their real job!”

For focused marketing which seizes the day and doesn’t waste anyone’s time or money, contact Vicky at Fuel on 07766 566690 or email vicky@fuelmarketing.co.uk