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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Procrastination: Why “I’ll Do It Tomorrow” Never Comes

crLet’s face it, we’re human (major shock there, I know!): we forget things, we postpone events, we might find that we didn’t plan properly, or we bit off too much to do. It happens.

Yet, for the most part, we have plenty of time for the people and the activities we deem important. All it takes is a shift in priorities.

You might need to tell yourself, or sell yourself, on the idea that it’s urgent: you need money to pay the bills, your child needs to take a test to get into college, you need to get the car serviced, you need to stop ignoring your spouse. But you put it off, since you can’t seem to envision the end from the beginning.

Instead of imagining the positive: a positive cash flow and a growing retirement account, a well-educated son or daughter with scholarship opportunities, a smoothly-running vehicle, a loving relationship with the person you chose for a lifetime… we tend to focus on how things are not “that bad”-! After all, we reason, settling for mediocre minus: we’re not starving, the kid needs to enjoy life, the car hasn’t broken down on the side of road and nobody’s talked about a divorce, yet.

Everyone gets busy, you rationalize. What do you expect out of me, the impossible? There are only so many hours in the day!

So we procrastinate, never painting an ideal picture of what might be, never tallying the costs of what putting it off is actually taking from us. Wishing for a better day, without empowering ourselves to do something about it, doesn’t even make sense for most rational people.

cr“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

No… you won’t.

The future starts today. Do something TODAY.

Today, today, today. It’s not a dirty word.

To assist you, here’s a list of common reasons why people procrastinate and what you can do to overcome the obstacles… if you really want to… which might be part of the issue, as well. Give it a shot:

An overwhelming project – spend 30 minutes a day on it. Whether cleaning the house, organizing the office or computer desktop, writing thank you notes, taking uninterrupted time for your significant other, decluttering the basement or attic, planning the next career step, reading a mountain of research, take 30 minutes a day. Write it into your calendar. If it’s several things, do one in the morning, one at noon, and one after work. Bam! Every day. By the end of the week, you will see significant progress and transformation.

Do unpleasant things first. Can’t stand bookkeeping, planning ahead, working out, making sales calls? Crank those out first thing. Believe me, you’ll still have time for your favorite activities.

Come up with a schedule written on a calendar format of your choosing: maybe nobody ever told you that the last time you communicated with your staff was 1985. Send out a weekly e-mail that’s brief and upbeat. Make it conversational and tell a little story. Bring everyone up to speed. If you only send out emergency messages, folks tend to tune it out. If you send only sporadic messages, people don’t anticipate your next communique. Most positive things in life need to be done with regularity: brushing your teeth, hitting the gym, telling your mate you love them, writing the next chapter, holding a staff meeting, saving money, taking the child to school, going to the doctor, eating your veggies. It must be mindfully scheduled, or the weeks, months and years will slip past you. Organize your calendar for success, then check it off and keep a record of it.

crOur final point is the two-edged sword of either perfectionism or fear of failure. On the one hand, the perfectionist procrastinates because they remain convinced that tweaking the presentation one more time will result in bliss. On the other hand, the fearful person will allow the discomfort of failure/change/the unknown to paralyze them. Better to appear as though they are not even trying. Better to ignore the project at all costs. Better to keep researching and revising, researching and revising, rather than turning it in and possibly receiving critical comments. What if they actually went for it… and still didn’t succeed?

There’s a cost associated with procrastination. Haven’t you paid those dues long enough?


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