October 21, 2015 by Mark Hammerstrom
“Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well.” –Mark Twain
Do you procrastinate? Ok, you don’t have to answer that. I will for you. Of course you do. We all do. I certainly know I do. Just ask my wife about the paint job for our master bath! And the drippy kitchen sink. And the weeds in the lawn…well, you know.
Yet, isn’t it a great feeling to finally face that not so fun task that has been on your ‘do’ list for months, complete it and cross it off? The reward of a feeling of accomplishment—a job well done—is terrific. Of course it is usually followed by the realization that had we simply done it sooner the building stress that comes from putting things off would have gone away much sooner and in its place we could have been doing things which we find much more pleasant.
There are lots of definitions for procrastination, none of them particular complimentary to us who do. I am partial to Twain’s quote, but let’s face it that won’t feed the bulldog!
Generally speaking, procrastination is when we substitute one activity we prefer for one we do not. As a result the one we like gets done fast while the other, perhaps even more important task, is moved farther and farther away. Like blog posting when the sales forecast is due! And there are certainly no limits to the distractions we all have right here on our desktop.
To maximize the effectiveness of revenue recovery and delinquent account collections procrastination can be costly. There is an old saw in the business which goes: “The older they are the farther they go.” There is much to that, and may impact your recovery rates dramatically if you are not able to manage your delinquent placements on a timely basis.
We realize delinquent account recovery is a serious business, but sometimes it is easier to believe if the accounts just sit there sooner or later the debtor will pay directly without third party intervention. The fact of the matter is that even with the most optimistic perspective that does not happen very often. There is a direct and inverse proportion between age of an account and prompt debt collection.
So what do you do?
• If the elephant is big, just take one bite. Even if it is just a single account send it on! That takes one more thing off your desk and starts our process of recovery right away.
• Prioritize your day and make those less desirable tasks something you handle first thing. That way, you have a fresh perspective and fewer interruptions as the day goes on.
• First things first: Keep a manageable and organized task list. When our ‘do’ lists get too big or too detailed it is easy to get disorganized, discouraged and distracted. Review your list early in the day and rework your daily priorities focusing on the top three to maximize your use of time.
• Make sure your delinquent accounts are turned over as soon as possible. The sooner we get them, the sooner we start the process and the higher probability you will receive timely collection of your debt.
• Things don’t change unless you recognize there is a problem. If your priorities keep getting pushed off for the next day, take a close look at how you use your time. Are there unnecessary distractions which get in the way of tackling the hard ones?
• Reward yourself when a task you don’t like is done! There is nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back when you get something done, especially if it is a task you were not looking forward to handling. Take a break, or spend a few minutes on those other more pleasant tasks which would have normally been distracting you.
At United Credit Service we strive to make your interactions with us as easy and straightforward as possible. In an increasingly complex world, keeping things simple is a goal we strive for every day. Can we help? Let us know. We are here to serve you.
Founded in 1950, United Credit Service, Inc. is a full service, licensed revenue cycle management and debt collection agency in Wisconsin providing effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. Visit our website at http://www.unitedcreditservice.com, call 877-723-2902 or check out our YouTube video.