Consistency. As an entrepreneur, I’ve come to learn that consistency is the key component of success. I will admit, that even though I’m a CEO with a full staff of support and a plethora of tools at my disposal, and even though I’m a professional organizer and time management coach, I still let things fall through the cracks sometimes. Case in point, this blog.
I spent the better part of the day working on some organizing and time management material for my second-quarter Hot Mess Masters class. In doing so, I began to think about prioritization as it pertains to consistency.
If you prioritize certain tasks, to the detriment of other tasks, those “other” tasks will fall through the cracks of consistency. Whether it’s writing a regular blog post, sending tweets, or simply taking time to shred old documents, eventually the things you’ve neglected will pile up. At that point, your lack of consistency will manifest itself as procrastination.
You see, being a professional, even being considered a “certified expert,” does not exempt you from having areas of weakness or making mistakes or letting things fall through the cracks. In fact, I would venture to say that even the most successful business people in the world make mistakes regularly. The rubber meets the road where we admit our mistakes and take steps to resolve them.
What I’m trying to say is, if you can prevent your lack of consistency from turning into full-blown procrastination, you can prevent the vicious cycle of stress that goes along with it. The busier we become, the more stuff seems to fall through the cracks and the greater our odds of slipping into a pattern of inconsistency and eventually suffering the wrath of procrastination.
Even if you consider the things that you’re doing in place of your “crack-fallen” tasks to be more important,unless you intend to write those crack-fallen tasks off completely, it will be up to you to prevent them from becoming the product of procrastination.
Don’t get discouraged, it happens to all of us. I wouldn’t be writing this blog post If I have not been convicted of my own inconsistencies while I was working on some product information earlier today.
Which brings me to the real meat of this post. Are you being consistent? Are you following through? It doesn’t matter how busy you are, if you make commitments that you struggle to keep and you’ve yet to address the problem, you’re being inconsistent.
Inconsistency makes you seem unreliable. If you seem unreliable, clients will not trust you to provide them with quality products or services, and while these things happen to all of us, the difference makers are:
1) Admitting that it happens.
2) Stopping it before it becomes a habit.
knowing something and following through on something are two different things. I know that I made a commitment to my blog posts every week. I know that the material I put these posts will be beneficial to other people and every day that passes with no blog post becomes a nagging sore spot in the back of my mind, because commitment and consistency is of vital importance to me. I’m not only hurting my clients, I’m hurting ME! Just because the other things I’m working on are more pressing at the time, it doesn’t negate the importance of previously made commitments – even if they seem kind of small.
I said all that say this, none of us are exempt from mistakes. You have the power to punch the brakes on whatever inconsistency you’re currently facing. I urge you, for the sake of your sanity and for the sake of your business:
1) Don’t make a commitment unless you are absolutely certain you can meet that commitment – even to yourself.
2) If you find here being inconsistent, take active steps to stop their inconsistency early. Don’t let it become a procrastination problem.
3) Be willing to admit to your coworkers and your clients when you let something fall through the cracks. Even if it’s something minor, like weekly blog posts.
Your willingness to admit your human nature will go a long way toward your reputation with your clients and your colleagues.
And finally – TAKE A SELF ASSESSMENT. Where have you been inconsistent in your life? Exercise, laundry, writing, bills…? Who is it effecting? What steps are you taking to fix it?