Procrastination, or faffing as I like to call it, can be harmless. We put off that job we don’t really want to do by instead scrolling on Facebook or flicking through Instagram. Organising all those files into folders on the desktop suddenly feels urgent and we are inspired to do online “research” instead of sending a difficult email or doing that boring work task.
Faffing can also have a detrimental affect on your productivity, mental health and business if it’s not recognised and dealt with. We all do a bit of faffing, but when business is stagnating or work isn’t getting done, that is when it’s useful to know what type of faffer you are and how you can get going again.
Does this sound like you?
Business faffers are like ducks with one leg, swimming around and around in circles but not getting very far. You don’t really want to aspire to be the Swan either, graceful on the surface but legs going like the clappers under the water. A happy medium is a business owner who is making continuous progress and business growth through consistent effort and with compound improvements.
So, which type of faffer are you?
During my career as a coach I have identified a few different types of faffer. You might recognise a bit of yourself in each description, or you might fall firmly into one category.
Just for fun, which faffer are you?
Perfectionist faffers have amazing organisation and planning skills. These are the people who use learning and planning as a distraction from taking action. Perfectionist faffers believe they need to learn more or have a plan for how they’re going to achieve something. When, (and only when) they have this knowledge or the plan and all its steps in place will they take action.
The problem with this type of faffing is how much knowledge or learning is enough? How much do you need to know before you take action? Whilst they are accumulating this knowledge and preparing their plan they sit on the sidelines while the action takers jump in and start making progress.
The idea of chaos, winging it or just doing a job that is ‘good enough’ makes them shudder. Fantastic at the day to day stuff, these faffers rarely get off the blocks when it comes to the big scary project that would make a big impact in their business.
“Shiny Object Syndrome” Faffers
Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) faffers love taking action and are bursting with new ideas. Their days are full and busy with all kinds of stuff. SOS faffers are positive and optimistic souls who regularly bite off more than they can chew. They feel excited about the future of their business but then wonder where the hell time has gone and why they are not further forward.
In a nutshell it is because they are easily distracted by all the things that seem like a good idea. Rather than prioritise and make progress on one or two key things, they have a tendency to keep adding more on their to-do list and end up spread waaaay too thin.
Shiny Object Syndrome faffers start strong but rarely see anything through to completion hence they are always in the beginning stages of a project as they flit from one thing to another.
The sensitive souls of the faffer family. They can be laser focused and super productive in some situations but are guided and led by strong emotions and feelings that can send them reeling. They are reluctant to put themselves out there in their marketing because they are worried about what other people might think.
On the days when they are feeling down and lacking motivation, emotional faffers can lose hours in front of their laptops and achieve nothing. If they are unsure of pursuing a particular course of action they can feel overwhelmed leading to avoiding making any decisions at all, preferring to leave it until a different day when they may feel up to it.
Breaking the faffing cycle
It’s not a bad thing to recognise yourself in one or more of the descriptions. I have fit into every one of these categories myself at some point or another! The important thing is to recognise your patterns of behaviour, accept them for what they are and call yourself out on it. Often knowing that you have these habits is enough to spur you into action.
However, if your faffing habit is worrying you, or if friends and colleagues have started commenting on your faffing maybe it’s time to get help. The first step is admitting you’re a faffer – we can work on the rest together.