This week’s focus: I don’t particularly look forward to writing. This week, for instance, I have yet again put off writing this Friday Focus until 30 minutes before it is due out. Even worse, I am currently writing a new book, which is a little ironically called First and Fast. I have nine months to write the book, but the first five chapters have taken me over six months to write, leaving a little over two months for the final five.

I am not alone. Through my experience of coaching other executives, I am starting to think that procrastination may be one of the biggest management issues. Forget selling skills, innovation, becoming tech savvy or leadership capabilities; if more business leaders could simply get on and do the things they don’t want to do, more organisations would thrive and profits would grow.

The best way I’ve found of dealing with procrastination is to make your accountability and action public, commit the time in your diary, do it, and, importantly, give yourself some sort of reward for getting it done. I’m committing to you that I will complete my new book by 31 May and will update you each week on my progress (I’ll think about my reward!). What are your areas of procrastination and what steps will you take to overcome them?

Off the record: Busy Doing Nothing by Bing Crosby, William Bendix and Cedric Hardwicke (written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke)

We’re busy doing nothing, working the whole day through

Trying to find lots of things not to do

We’re busy going nowhere, isn’t it just a crime?

We’d like to be unhappy, but we never do have the time

© Stuart Cross 2014. All rights reserved.