Procrastination & The Art Of Putting Off Till Tomorrow What You Could Have Done Yesterday….

By Matthew Bateman As I sit to write this in the new Perth Airport terminal, whilst I wait for my flight overnight to Brisbane, I am reminded by ads everywhere that Xmas is fast approaching. In fact, it is less than 25 days away now! Now for the record, I am going to admit that I don’t overly like the Xmas period. Why you may ask? Well for one it takes you out of your “normal” life and you tend to find yourself doing things you otherwise wouldn’t. So going Xmas shopping, & buying gifts for people you may only gift once a year (Hello! there is probably a good reason for that), can prove to be frustrating for someone like me, with little patience for traffic jams, large crowds, or fools. And for some bizarre reason Xmas seems to attract all three of these, like moths to a flame. Even what should be the simple task of finding a parking spot, at Xmas time can be a cause for dispute between my partner and I. In fact, maybe you can settle this for me? What is the best Xmas shopping centre parking strategy?
  1. Avoid it all together & shop online? I like this approach, but for some reason my partner finds this too impersonal and not “Christmassy” enough for her tastes. She has that illogical (and therefore unarguable) belief that unless you physically endure the blood, sweat and tears of personally entering the shopping centre, it is not really shopping.
  2. Drive around and hope by some miracle you can find an empty spot and swoop into before anyone else sees it?
  3. The "lay in wait” approach, where you idle in the aisles waiting for a spot to open up like a venus fly trap?
  4. Or stalk people as they leave the shops hoping that they can lead you to the prize before anyone else sees them too?
For the record I prefer either number 1 or number 4 however, both of these have the effect of irritating my partner somewhat. Now assuming we can find a park, without wanting to kill each other first, my partner and I have very different shopping styles as well. Assuming, I can be convinced to shop offline in the first place, I shop like a true non-shopper. What do we need, where do we find it, and how can we get in, get out and how can we break every land-speed record in the process. My partner, on the other hand views shopping more akin to a Sunday stroll, and every shop as the potential source of inspiration for a present for someone? Additionally, she laments that I am difficult to buy for, because I usually just buy all the things that I want as I need them. So part of me thinks she wants me tagging along whilst she shops in case something catches my eye, then she can grab it for me. Or maybe it is just so I can carry the bags for her? Look Xmas may be very different if you either are a kid, or have kids, young enough to still believe in Santa, flying reindeer and all that jazz, but being one fat lady old (for those who know their bingo lingo you will be able to work out my age) and childless myself, I am just not that into it. I guess, Xmas does serves a purpose and helps to keep businesses selling cheap cologne, hampers, socks, and underwear in businesses for another year but some of the other Xmas traditions don’t always make sense to me either. I mean my mum still buys a whole leg of ham, big enough to feed a small army, when there are only at best 10 people now sitting down for Xmas lunch together these days with the kids all grown, and partners rotating where they spend Xmas from one year to the next. I mean, seriously Mum, there is only so many ways to serve left over ham, and I really don’t want to still be eating ham & cheese toasties come April. Anyhow, I have rambled a bit so let me come back to the point I wanted to make in this article. Christmas is fast approaching & therefore, we are nearly at the end of 2015! At the start of 2015, what New Years Resolutions did you make, if any, and how have you gone achieving them?

What have you simply failed to do this year? Have you lost that weight you wanted? Have you left the job you hate? Did you buy more property, or improve your finances? What are you now putting off getting started now till next year (or the year after)?

So why do we as human beings procrastinate? According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University “What I’ve found is that while everybody may procrastinate, not everyone is a procrastinator,” As a pioneer of modern research on the subject, his work has found that as many as 20 percent of people may be chronic procrastinators. In research settings, people who procrastinate have higher levels of stress and lowered well-being. In the real world, undesired delay is often associated with inadequate retirement savings or missed health care visits. Reading about why people procrastinate I discovered a really cool way to think about procrastination… According to Cal Newport (author of "So Good They Can’t Ignore You") procrastination, or the resistance you feel to getting started on something you think you ought to do "is a perfectly reasonable, evolutionary inspired, neurological reaction. A reaction that says we don’t know what we are doing here, or we don’t have a plan that we can believe in, or there is not really a goal here that we should be wasting our time with.” Newport goes even further with this thought process, believing that human beings have a part in our brains which is really good at evaluating our plans, and procrastination is really our minds way of telling us that we haven’t put enough thought into this plan of ours. Or in other words, our own mind has an inbuilt Bull Shit Detector (BSD), and every time we find ourselves procrastinating it triggers our BSD, effectively calling us out, and stopping us from embarking on a journey or task that we are completely underprepared for. So whilst nearly everyone I speak with, would like to create more wealth for themselves and their families, I am staggered by just how few investors actually have a written wealth plan. I guess that is why so few successfully manage to pull it off. It is also why so many people despite wishing that they could become a better property investor for example, simply end up procrastinating year after year. So how can we break the procrastination cycle?
  1. Create a Plan and
  2. Take Action.
Look, if you have been trying to get traction with your finances, and need help putting a plan together, please give us a call. We specialize in helping to clarify your financial goals, and assist with identifying the specific steps that you need to take to move forward with greater confidence, urgency and results. Go on call us now on 03 8842 9399. There is no need to wait till next year, let’s get the ball rolling right now. Next Week: How To Get A Property Mentor To Notice You, And Take You Under Their Wing…

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