Why you need flexibility, focus & procrastination to be successful

We often think of procrastination as a negative word in business. Flexibility and focus on the other hand, are seen as positive buzzwords that signify success. Many articles have been written on how we need to cut procrastination from our lives, whilst we strive for flexibility and focus. However, as is often the case in business and personal situations, what sounds good on paper isn’t always best for our business success.

Situations change, so we need to be flexible – or do we?

Life is never still, regardless of whether we’re looking at the business or personal aspects of it. We need to stay flexible, in order to modify or change what we’re doing, according to the situation we find ourselves in. Being flexible gives us the opportunity to adjust and adapt, to be open to new ideas and to take avenues we may otherwise have been too closed minded to take.

But what makes flexibility an asset for us, is also its downside. In being open to change and flexible enough to change our daily plans, we can easily find ourselves being too flexible. If we haven’t clear guidelines and core working day patterns in place, we can end up in a situation where we never switch off from work or never getting anything done. We can also find ourselves too inflexible, where we’re unable to adapt as life and work dictate, leaving us stressed and overwhelmed.

Focus is good – as long as you’re not too focused

Why you need flexibility, focus & procrastination to be successful (1)Focus is another skill set that affects both our personal and professional lives. We know that multitasking isn’t that productive, so we pay attention to one thing at a time. Learning to stay on point and on focus, we give our undivided attention to that task at hand. We are saying yes to that option and no to the others.

However, having too much focus can drain your energy and leave you blind to other options and avenues. This can manifest when you’re caught up in a problem or dilemma, looking for answers. The more focus you give it, the more frustrated you can become. If we’re too unfocused however, we can find ourselves unmotivated and lost, overwhelmed and unsure of our next move.

Procrastination isn’t something that should necessarily be avoided

Procrastination is a word that has been given a lot of bad press. Yes, it can be damaging to business success, but it can also be a useful tool. It can often be an alarm that’s trying to grab our attention, showing us that we’re delaying or postponing something. This can be because we simply don’t like the task, we’re overwhelmed or simply disorganised around it.

We often procrastinate because we’re looking to avoid a negative (or perceived negative) situation. If that task is something we need to do consistently and there is no real negativity or danger around it, our desire to procrastinate can be highlighting the fact we have some work to do around our view of that task.

Procrastination also gives us a timeout from our work. It allows our mind to wander – and having this break from work can make us more creative and productive, with solutions to problems or alternative ways to do things, popping into our head when we’re least expecting them.

The three go hand in hand

What’s interesting is we need all three to be successful. We need focus to keep our attention on our goals, processes and routines, but we also need the flexibility to adjust, as needed. However, it’s only by giving our brains the regular timeouts procrastination can provide, that enables us to switch off from work. We can then be open enough to see the different solutions and opportunities available to us.

Our world of personal and business integration isn’t all black and white. It isn’t a case of either or, nor is it a case of cutting one out in favour or another – regardless of whether we’re talking about our personal and professional lives, or procrastination, flexibility and focus.

What’s needed is balance. If you want to be a success, you need to understand how each of them work – both the negative and positive aspects. You can then spot the signs of too little or too much, and adjust working patterns and thoughts, as needed. It’s only by balancing all three, that we can utilise them best for our unique situations and definitions of business (and personal) success.

How do you see procrastination, flexibility and focus? Have you noticed how they can both hinder and propel you forward? I’d love to hear your thoughts around them, so do please, leave a comment in the box below.