Why Do People Procrastinate?

The 3 Most Effective Ways To Stop Procrastinating

Guideline # 2: Whatever You Excuse Away Is The Cost Of Your Procrastination. Render Nothing To It!

want vs need After listing the impact of your procrastination on others, make a second list of goals that you failed to achieve because you procrastinated.

You may have wanted to complete these goals. But you thought you needed to do something else instead.

In the end you procrastinated.

The list of the impact of your procrastination on others and the list of goals that you forfeited for something else define the cost of putting things off.

Let's take two typical examples: you promised your boss that you'd get a project done by a certain due date because you wanted to get it done by that date. On the day that the project was due, the boss calls you.

You say sheepishly that you didn't have time to do it because you needed to do something else. You say something like, "My best friend was sick for days and I couldn't concentrate," knowing full well that your boss was generous with your deadline date and that your lame excuse won't pull the wool over his eyes.

  • You took one step farther away from your goal of a promotion

  • Two steps farther away from developing a good relationship with your boss, who picked you from 15 other applicants who wanted the job

  • Three steps farther away from paying your relatives the money that you owed them, because you were short since you don't make enough of a salary to make ends meet
Do you see how much you've given up for this excuse? What's the missed opportunity? Was the excuse worth all this that you gave up for it?

Second example

You delayed lobbying for your colleague's promotion knowing full well that he was the best man for the job.

  • First, the job went to someone less deserving.

  • Second, your colleague resigned to take up a better offer elsewhere.

  • Third, your colleague thinks you deserve to stay where you're at even though he has a better opportunity to offer you at the new place where he works now.
When you measure the consequences of a missed opportunity because you procrastinated, ask if the consequences were worth the delay, because whatever you forego for the sake of those excuses is the actual cost of your excuses.

It can be a terribly high cost. A missed opportunity can far outweigh financially the savings that you feel you're getting from not spending any effort doing something.

In fast-paced societies, people tend to think of time as precious and valuable. Expressions such as "time is of the essence," "time is money," "you missed the train," "the clock is ticking" reinforce the value of time.

So when wheelers-and-dealers on the stock exchange, for instance, take time off to whisper sweet nothings to their better halves, it's easy to see how those three minutes on the phone can mean hundreds, even thousands of dollars in missed transactions. A missed opportunity in the stock market is not cheap!

The case shouldn't be much different with you.

So install a permanent calculator in your brain and calculate how much that missed opportunity meant to you in terms of dollar value.

The business plan that you thought necessary to start a formal business venture with might require 2 hours to initiate. You chose to spend the time watching videos on YouTube. A professional can draft the plan in half that time for $500.

After the 2 hours of video watching you feel like there was no cost for your entertainment. In fact, those videos cost you $1000. You gave up two $500-plans in exchange for those 2 hours that you could have spent writing the plan yourself.

If you make it a practice to tag a dollar sign for each of your acts of procrastination, you will then begin to gauge the windfall that comes from regaining a missed opportunity by resolving to procrastinate less every day.

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What To Do

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