Let’s face it. Even the most ambitious of us sometimes faces the procrastination “demon” from time to time. Call it “Spring Fever”, “Summer Malaise”, The Winter Doldrums” or any other name- it’s all the same.
For most of us, it’s a temporary state and sometimes indicates that we need to slow down a bit and get caught up on some tasks that we have let go by the wayside or it may just mean that our body and mind are telling us that we need to rest.
For the true and chronic procrastinator, however, it’s just another day at the office. In fact, about 20-25% of people self-describe themselves as true procrastinators.
There is a big difference between feeling unmotivated from time to time and being a chronic procrastinator. Let’s take a look at some of the traits and commonalities that the true procrastinators have by reviewing the following questions:
We could go on and on, but we think you get the point. Procrastination can take a heavy toll on your business and personal life, and even on your health. It can damage relationships. (business and personal) It can cost you money in lost deals or late fees and penalties. It can hurt your credit and most of all, your reputation.
Contrary to popular belief, one is not born to procrastinate. It’s human nature to survive and to take action. It’s usually not a matter of time management, as procrastinators do actually tend to pre-plan but often tend to misjudge the amount of time that a task might take. Some procrastinators use procrastination as an avoidance technique and sometimes will wait until a task is no longer required, or someone else does it, or it’s too late to have an effect. In other words, they just wait for it to go away. This is not a good strategy- especially in the world of business. In addition to you failing as a result of procrastination, many times you drag others along with you.
An example of this might be if you are getting ready to sell a property. Your team (buyer, title company, mortgage broker, insurance agent, etc.) all have a number of items to complete but as the seller, there is a lot that falls on you with some normally tight deadlines. If you fail to complete the items that are needed on your side, then the whole deal likely will fall through. All of the work, time and effort of the others will have been in vain.
Our culture of being polite and “not making waves” can further ignite the fires of procrastination, as can current technology. In years past, much of what we achieved had to do with person to person relationships. One or two hundred years ago, if you were a procrastinator, unless you had someone that would procure food, chop wood and take care of your other essentials, you didn’t live very long. Even as little as 20-30 years ago, before the advent of small computers, internet and cell phones, (that do just about everything we need) person to person contact and interaction was still critical. Let’s face the facts; it’s hard not to be accountable to a person that you have to face in person from time to time.
With the advent of technology, much of what we accomplish is a series of emails, voice mails, documents, websites and more. Psychologically, it’s a lot easier to procrastinate under these circumstances.
Some of the characteristics of a chronic procrastinator can be as follow:
However, there is good news! Procrastination can be overcome. Overcoming procrastination takes hard work and resolve. Like any habit or behavior, one wishes to change, the person themselves must be onboard and decide that they are going to change. It takes time. It’s extremely helpful to have a support system around you. It’s also easy to slip back into your old ways should times get tough.
Here are a few tips on dealing with and conquering procrastination:
Well, it’s time to get to work. We have outlined the reasons you may be a victim of procrastination and techniques and steps for you to break the “procrastination chain.” It’s important to use those closest to you both in business and personally, as allies and as a support system.
Understand that no one can do this but you! But knowledge is power and now that you have a more complete understanding of the causes and effects of procrastination, it’s time to break the chains and move forward in your life. Here’s to your success!
Attorney William ("Bill") Bronchick, host of Legalwiz.com, has authored six best-selling books and is sought nationwide for his 25+ years of real estate and legal knowledge. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, such as CNBC, TIME Magazine, USA Today, Investor Business Daily, Forbes, and the LA Times, to name a few. William Bronchick is the co-founder and past President of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors and the Executive Director and founder of the College of American Real Estate Investors. Click on the "About" link above for more information on William Bronchick. Frank Pulley is an experienced real estate investor and foreclosure specialist. He is the director of William Bronchick's Coaching and Mentoring Programs. For more info, contact [email protected]