By Susan "Honey" Good
Do you tend to put things off? If the answer is yes, this is not usually due to time management, but a result of psychological issues.
Procrastination can infiltrate many areas of our lives with negative results. Here are just a few...
1. It will crumble relationships.
When my daughters and I moved from Honolulu to Chicago, the girls did not understand the concept of time. Island style living was laid back and time was unimportant, so they procrastinated. In Honolulu when you were 15 minutes late, you were on time. Chicago was a different story.
One day I sat them down and explained “If you are late for your mother, a friend or an appointment, you are sending two messages.” I continued, “First, that the person or appointment is not important. Secondly, that you are a rude and inconsiderate person.”
2. Procrastination will prevent you from reaching your goals. You can’t reach a goal until you take the first step to begin.
3. Procrastination can lead to serious health issues and even death. Putting off an appointment for a yearly check-up, mammogram or body check with your dermatologist is irresponsible.
Procrastination will prevent you from moving to a new area, traveling, starting a new career or business and putting aside money for retirement.
In other words, a procrastinator cannot lead a satisfying lifestyle after 50. Typically, they never accomplish their dreams and goals, which is no fun.
The first step to change your mindset is to know the cause of your problem. Procrastinators are known to be any of the following:
- A perfectionist: Are you a person who works so long to make a project perfect that you never get started? It is never too late in the game to make an attitude shift. Try to set a limit on your project and visualize a new endeavor as grey. Nothing is ever jet black or stark white – avoid extremes.
- A dreamer: Do you live in the ‘world of ideas’ and find yourself unable to turn ideas into reality? Stop dreaming and make a detailed to-do list. Change your "I’ll try" to "I will."
- A worrier: Are you anxious something will go wrong before you start? I suggest you take baby steps. Remember, not making a decision is a decision.
- A crisis maker: Do you procrastinate until the last moment because negative stress and a deadline motivates you to action? You will be respected when you fulfill your responsibilities promptly instead of having the reputation of a last minute Charley.
It is important to have a positive relationship with our ‘time.’ A wise woman does not allow procrastination to own her. She owns her time even when she is not excited about her task.
We all have desires to procrastinate on certain issues that bore, aggravate or frustrate us. I think that is part of being human. For myself, I will wait until the last minute and then ‘Miss Stress’ drags me across the finish line of the race on time.
I am not a procrastinator, a dreamer or a worrier. I have a tad of the stress maker in me.
Think about your lifestyle. Is procrastination playing a large role in your ability to lead a charmed life after 50?