- Change car air filters.
- Put up window film next to front door (frosted look so you can’t see straight into the house.)
- Finish wills and powers of attorney.
- Open Roth IRA.
- Call home builder re: 2nd bathroom fixes.
- Work on parents’ investments.
- Put wedding video on CD.
- Buy weed killer and weed & feed, put on grass.
- Send up wife’s disability insurance application.
This is a list of some things I have needed to get done for the past month or so. Until this past weekend, I had done absolutely none of this (bolded items are now incomplete). Why? Procrastination.
Why do we let it affect us? If I had an answer, I wouldn’t be writing this. I think awareness is part of it. We don’t find a way to constantly remind ourselves of what we need to get done.
I think the biggest part is we don’t see the long term consequences of inaction. Let’s look at my list above and come up with some possible consequences.
- (Minor) Poorer car performance.
- (Minor) Not feeling as safe; people could see into our living room.
- (Major) Our estate is not in order. If we were killed in a car accident, it would be a legal mess.
- (Major) Retiring later than we want, retiring with less money, missing an investment opportunity with the markets being down so much right now.
- (Minor) Continue to be annoyed by minor issues that need fixing in our 2nd bathroom.
- (Major) Possible loss of large sums of money for my parents.
- (Major to us) We could lose the camcorder tapes (or they could deteriorate or become damaged) and lose our wedding video forever.
- (Minor) Clover will continue to grow in our yard.
- (Major) If my wife were to become disabled for a long period of time, we would be in financial straits.
Looking at that list, 55% of the items are major to us. Major meaning we would really be wishing we had taken care of them before something happened. I still need to do four of the five as well — not good!
This weekend and the first two days of this week, we completed the non-bolded items from above. It feels good to mark off the items that have been on the list more than a month. As I write this, I can still see we have some major holes to close up. The simple exercise of writing this post has shown me we really need to get our act together.
Procrastination can take small issues and turn them into major problems if you let them sit. (For example, I bought weed and feed fertilizer, as well as a targeted weed killer. I haven’t applied the fertilizer, but I have applied the weed killer. If I went ahead and put the weed & feed on the grass, it might help prevent clover from growing in other areas.)
So what have you been waiting to do? Opening that investment account? Do it. Creating your budget to get out of debt? Do it!
What are you waiting for?