At the start of each new year, many of us have grand plans to repurpose our lives, careers, relationships and finances, however, we sometimes expect magic by hoping for the best but doing nothing to make it happen.
Is procrastination a major problem for you? Procrastination can have many negative consequences: deadlines are missed; opportunities are wasted; work is rushed with the attendant fall in quality standards; impressions are created, as you consistently arrive late at important meetings and events,because you didn’t leave home in time but put the blame on traffic or the weather instead.
Many people procrastinate to a degree, but if your case is a chronic one, it must be addressed swiftly or it will have significant implications for your future. The costs of procrastination are substantial in every aspect of life, but when it relates to delaying or putting off important decisions related to your personal finances and investments, the damage to your financial future can be excruciating. The financial cost of procrastination has effects on your emotional and mental health.
Are you still planning to insure your property or write a will? Are you waiting until your 50th birthday before you get around to saving and investing for your retirement? Do you routinely submit your tax returns late and end up having to pay penalties and late fines? Is budgeting something you have thought about but never really practiced? If you don’t control your spending now, you will soon be wondering where all your money went.
Our lives are shaped by many different life events, most of which come with financial consequences that must be planned for. By not planning in advance, by not saving and investing today for a more prosperous tomorrow, by not protecting your assets, by not planning for your legacy, you jeopardize all that you have spent a lifetime building.
Procrastination can be a chronic habit – so deeply ingrained that you can’t break it overnight. It can only stop being a habit when you take active steps to beat it. Here are some tips that should help:
- Write down your money-goals and work towards them systematically.
- Break down tasks to reduce any sense of feeling overwhelmed.
- Start each day with a list and include at least one of the items that you have been avoiding; eat the biggest frog first.
- Delegate. Can someone help you complete the task? Paying for that service may be a better option than delaying things further.
- Find an accountability partner to support you and that will hold you to your plans.
Once you start to enjoy an accomplishment or two, you will be motivated to do more. Focus on the success you have achieved, reward yourself, and enjoy that freedom from the burden.
This year, be proactive about combating financial procrastination; it is one of the worst kinds as its consequences can be devastating. Unnecessary delays come with serious risks you cannot afford. Get things done.