I confess — I like to procrastinate. As a result, I force myself to regularly block out some time in my schedule for specific topics I need to think about — things like the general vision of our team, where we’re going as a business, our sales processes, where we’re at with new projects and current customers, and account management-type stuff.

Long-term planning requires us to focus and give serious thought to the road ahead. I don’t need to tell you that in a time when technology has us all moving at a faster and faster pace, spare time to accomplish this planning is often in short supply. But being a procrastinator isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A Columbia University study differentiates between “active” and “passive” procrastination. Active procrastinators are a “positive” type of procrastinator. They prefer to work under pressure, and they make deliberate decisions to procrastinate, the study says. The results show that active procrastinators make purposeful use of time and control their time carefully, and this actually improves their performance and makes them effective.

Many of us, whether we realize it or not, are active procrastinators. But for active procrastination to work, it’s important to have good data so you can make operational and strategic decisions.

Quality data needs to be:

  • From all areas of the business
  • Standardized so that data comparisons can be made
  • Accurate
  • Complete and consistent

A good business management system should allow you to record and collate accurate and standard data from all aspects of a business, validated at the point that the operational transactions are performed. It should also provide you with a quick and easy way of accessing this data in useful formats.

Procrastinating isn’t always a bad thing. If you’re like me and identify as an “active” procrastinator, making sure you have good data is essential.

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