Why I Procrastinate and What To Do About Overcoming It

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We all procrastinate and it is the number reason for us not doing the things we want to get done. I am also guilty of procrastinating on things that I should have done. In this post, I will explore the reasons why I procrastinate, highlight some stuff that I have procrastinated over and also share some tips and tricks on how I overcome it.

So to start, here are some reasons or excuses I make.

Daily Chores Get In the Way – One of the most common reasons I give myself is that daily chores get in the way. For me, there are always blog posts to write, guest posts to write, research to do and new cards to review. And I somehow never get to do some important stuff – like update my navigation bar! Or update certain credit card reviews! Or proceed with a new idea for another site that I have. There always seem to be more excuses.

Mrs Credit Card’s common excuses are that she has laundry to do, kids events to organize, planning the meals, grocery shopping.

As you can see here, going through your daily chores can really be time consuming and more importantly, energy sapping. Finding the time to do important stuff is quite a challenge.

No immediate consequences – Another reason why I (and I guess many folks) procrastinate on doing things is that there is no immediate consequences. Think about working out and going to the gym. There is really no short term consequences when you miss a workout. There is no short term consequences if you postpone starting an automatic savings plan. There is no immediate consequences if you postpone doing your will. These only come back to bite you in the future. I guess that is why we procrastinate on things.

Lack of accountability to Others – Another reason I think we delay doing things is because we are accountable to no other person (other than ourselves). A classic mistake I make or example, is not having a buddy for running or going to the gym. By not having a buddy, it is easy to just skip a training session.

Things I have Procrastinated On

And here are some things (this is just a very short list!) I have procrastinated on:

Procrastinated learning how to create online photo album – I probably have about 10 years worth of photos in my hard drive not too long ago. Digital cameras have made it easy to snap lots of photos. But if you do not organize them, then you will not reap the benefits of digital cameras and all the convenience it offers. The same goes with the Camcorder that you have (or flip video!). Bet you have many tapes and disk with videos you have taken that are just sitting on your computer. Don’t procrastinate. Quickly learn to use some simple software and organize your photos online and make some lovely videos out of them.

Setting up automatic payment – I’ve always advocated setting up automatic payments for your credit card because that way, you will never be late (as long as you have enough money in your bank account). But I have to admit that I missed a couple of payments because I forgot to enroll or set up my autopay! For example, it happened when I got my first and second American Express Credit Cards and my two chase credit cards! And after a close call with a late payment, in which the customer representative waived the late fee because I have been a customer for years and always paid on time, I immediately enrolled in autopay and since then, I’ve never had any late payment problems.

Consolidating auto and home insurance – I have had my auto and home insurance by separate companies. Anyone will know that combining your home insurance and auto insurance will save you money. And I’ve procrastinated on getting this done. But fortunately for me, my agent from Statefarm is bugging me about this and that is a good thing. This will be done pretty soon.

Setting up my iPhone bluetooth connection on my Lexus – For some reason, I have never figured out how to sync my iPhone with my Lexus bluetooth. It worked on my old Verizon phone but cannot seem to work. I have yet to get this fixed. But perhaps I’ll get it done the next time I bring it for a checkup.

Setting up Quicken – For the last couple of years, we’ve been always wanting to set up our accounts with Quicken but have never gotten around to doing it. But then, we did the smart thing by getting our CPA to help us set it up. Since we had to make the appointment with her, there was no ways we could back out. So this one is finally put to bed.

Solutions to Procrastination

Set a Time Line and Be Accountable to Someone – One of the best ways I have overcome procrastination is to set a dateline and be accountable to someone other than myself. This was how I got to use Quicken to monitor our finances. Rather than just say I will do it, I made an appointment with my CPA after tax season one year. By making the appointment (in advance), and paying my CPA for her time to teach me and categorize our business expense, we finally got it done.

Set aside an hour a day for tasks you want to do – Another effective method I use is to set aside an hour a day just to do the things that I always wanted to do. I found that morning is the best time (after I have walked my dog). I find that I need to get things over with first thing in the day. By setting aside the first hour of the day or so, I find that I can slowly chip away at my goals by accomplishing a little every day.

Outsource some of your daily chores – Time is another excuse I often make. And to be honest, I think that is a valid reason. I used to waste so much energy doing daily housework, and generally doing things around the house. I then decided that it was taking up too much valuable time and energy. So I hired a cleaning person to clean the house once every two weeks. I got someone to mow the lawn. All of a sudden, I had more free time on my hands and not only that, I had more energy from not doing these “chores”.

Take a Week To Accomplish Something – Rather than set aside some time every year, sometimes, setting aside a week or a few days to get something accomplished is even more effective. I took a week off to learn to download photos from my camera to my computer, to organize them, and to make a video of them. Once I did that, I organized all the photos in my hard drive and saved them. That (to be honest) was great accomplishment because if I had not done that, I would have tons of photos sitting in my hard drive that was not organized.

Please share with us your story – So there you have it – some of the things I have not done. Please share with us your stories.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jeff July 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

This is why necessity is the mother of all invention. Only when we are forced to really act, do we. But if you can be proactive and avoid procastination, you are already 1 step ahead of everyone else!

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