Procrastination can affect every aspect of your life. It is a very real thing that can even trickle into the financial areas of your life.
What is Financial Procrastination?
Financial procrastination is continuously putting aside financial decisions and obligations. As an example – you know your checkbook needs balanced, and your budget needs updating, but you never get around to it. Then something goes wrong and you are forced to confront the task. Or, you may need to apply for student loan deferment but you keep putting it off until the time lapses and your loans end up in the credit bureau.
Can this be overcome? Yes. Is it hard work? Absolutely. Here are a few suggestions on how to begin to get past your procrastination:
1. Accept It
You may feel as if you have already reached the point of no return. Digging your way out of the hole may feel overwhelming. The key to accept where you are is to know that you may never be ready to tackle everything all at once. Choose one thing and just get started. Figure out how to motivate yourself, even when you don’t want to, and you will begin making baby steps toward making things right.
2. Small Step It
Once you get yourself motivated, it may be tempting to dive in headfirst, but be careful and don’t overdo it. You could wear yourself out quickly and become overwhelmed again, ending up where you started. Give yourself time to get adjusted to figuring things out and making new financial moves. Taking 10 minutes to do something simple is the first step in this transformation. Remember, perception is everything. Don’t shy away because you feel as if things are too far gone. Address it one step at a time. Making a list is a good way to get started. It will also help motivate you along the way, being able to cross things off feels great.
3. Deadline It
If you are one of the people who works well under pressure, it may work in your favor to put your financial tasks on a deadline. You will go from viewing these financial tasks as suggestions to viewing them as something that absolutely has to be done once you’ve assigned a deadline. What needs done? How can you best accomplish it? What is a reasonable amount of time to get it done? It may be a mind game, but it’s a mind game that works.
5. Reward Yourself
This is the best part! Once you have tackled those financial issues, be sure to reward yourself. You can even work the rewards in as you go. As an example, if you want to go see a movie with friends, set a goal to get something done before you have to leave. If you weren’t able to accomplish the financial task, then no movie. Or, set yourself up for completing a number of financial tasks. For every task you successfully complete, you get to surf the net, or watch a TV show you have been looking forward to. It’s a different type of motivation, but it could work in your favor. You just have to figure out what works best for you.
Having someone close to you helping you monitor your progress can go a very long way. While you may be holding yourself accountable, someone else is there holding you accountable too. It also gives you someone to celebrate with when you accomplish your financial tasks. Eventually you will have established healthy habits when it comes to your finances. Being able to look at how far you’ve come may help prevent your procrastination in the future.