Every morning, I wake up with a goal in my heart. By mid-morning, I’ve had three coffees, read the paper and gone for a dog-paddle swim. And my goal?
Consigned to the back of my mind until tomorrow morning, where I can repeat the whole process again. Saving money, getting out of debt, buying a car with cash- whatever your goal, you have to start it today. Whatever it takes, however small the start may be, today is your day to shine.
I’ve written about strategies to cope with procrastination before, because I’m basically an expert.
Here are the top 5 procrastination excuses and how to banish them from your life.
I have no money
Are you unemployed? Are you a slave? Are you giving every cent you earn to a Mafia boss as a protection racket? If you answered no to these questions, then you have enough money to save. Procrastination is all in your head, just like this excuse.
Try it for a month- take savings out of your paycheck first. Then pay your bills. Use whatever is left over for entertainment.
Start today- put aside today’s cappuccino money (piggy banks are good for this). You may not think you have any money today, but cut out a few normal expenses and you’ll realise this isn’t true.
I’ll fix it tomorrow
While you’re thinking this, you’re spending more money on interest, on penalty fees and on items you don’t need.
Today is your friend. One last spending hurrah before a strict savings plan is never going to work- why not save the money you planned to blow and buy something for yourself in a month’s time should you stick to your budget?
As Jane Austen well knows, delayed gratification is a wonderful thing.
I don’t know how to start
I love the STRING strategy espoused in Union Plus. This is the best way to start and end your days of procrastination.
- Select just one task you’ve been putting off.
- Time yourself. Give the task one full hour, using a kitchen timer.
- Ignore everything else. Focus on doing just this one task.
- No breaks allowed while the timer is ticking.
- Give yourself a reward when the job is done.
The bills can wait
They will wait, with an upsettingly large late fee attached to them. If you’re doing nothing else, at least ensure you’re meeting your monthly payments because the late fees will end up mounting up and making financial security more and more difficult to attain.
Organise yourself, and you can avoid spending unnecessary money on procrastination punishment.
I don’t need to think about these things
Sounds more like you don’t want to think about these things, which isn’t really the same thing. Sally Berger said “The secret to getting ahead is getting started”.
At the risk of sound heinously clichéd, the only thing that’s stopping you is your mind frame. Get on top of that, and you’re on your way to getting on top of your finances.
Procrastination has a lot to do with avoidance- no one really enjoys dealing with their finances, hence the desire to delay the process as long as possible. Bite the bullet and start today- it’ll probably end up being the hardest part.