Advice: "Procrastination is holding me back from being a top performer. What can I do?"

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Dear Quota Team

I’ve been in sales for a few years, and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m solid at building rapport, I can articulate the product’s value proposition, and once I get a prospect qualified and into a meeting, my closing percentage is pretty high. 

The problem is my focus and my consistency, which go hand in hand. When I am able to focus, I get good results. But I have a really hard time being able to focus day in, day out. A lot of times, I will spend my mornings online or playing with my phone, rather than doing anything productive. And usually, when this happens, I’ll spend the afternoons avoiding doing anything except feeling awful about myself. Once I get into the procrastination “mindset,” it feels like it’s almost impossible to get out. 

I fully understand that if I don’t figure out how to break this habit, I’ll never achieve anything worthwhile. I can close enough deals with natural ability alone not to get fired, but I’ll never really make the type of income I’m after. Is there anything I can do to be more consistent and to make myself focus, or is this just something I need to deal with? Would love some suggestions. 

Unfocused in the Northeast


Dear Unfocused,

As a group of oftentimes-unfocused people, we feel your pain. The good news is that your problem is entirely solvable, as long as you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort. 

Developing focus and consistency is like anything else: it takes practice. You do a little more every day, until one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you’re no longer a full-time procrastinator, just an occasional one (which is perfectly fine). 

A few tips: 

  • practice getting started. Getting started is the hardest part, so put your focus there. It will take many tries, but throw yourself into the work that needs to be done right away. After a while, starting will become easier, and you’ll be able to get rolling quickly. 
  • Read this article on procrastination. It’s long, but it’s easy-to-understand, and (in our opinion) completely accurate. 
  • You mentioned that once you spend too much time procrastinating, you find it almost impossible to stop. This is something you need to fix. Compare it to dropping your phone and putting a little scratch into the case. You wouldn’t throw your phone away over a little nick, so why throw your afternoon away over a little setback.

The bottom line is that you already have what it takes to overcome your problem, you just need to teach yourself a few new skills. This is good news, and if you put in some effort, you’ll get where you want to be in no time. Just learn how to get started. Good luck! 

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