We are all guilty of it, but did you know there are (at least) 4 reasons why we procrastinate?

  1. Anxious procrastination
  2. Fun procrastination
  3. “Plenty of time” procrastination
  4. Perfectionist procrastination

Let’s look closer at the most common one:

“Plenty of time” procrastination

Many people find it difficult to start a project when they know the deadline is a long way off. This type of procrastination is clearly visible in students who often struggle to start an essay earlier than a few days before the deadline.

What happens if you have tasks that don’t have deadlines - like making your will and organising your finances. Take a look at your to-do list. Chances are you have at least one item that you’ve been putting off for weeks if not months (or even years?). It’s something you want to do, you know it will make things better in the long run, but you keep putting it off. 

How to beat it

Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University, Dan Arierly, experimented with getting his students to set their own deadlines.

Ariely gave his students 3 assignments and let them set their own deadlines. He hypothesised that students would choose the last day of term for the deadlines as this would give them the most time to do their work (and procrastinate). In reality, the majority of students chose earlier deadlines and got better grades than those who left their work until the last minute.

The implications? By setting yourself deadlines and announcing them publicly, you will be not only be able to get your work done, but you’ll do a good job of it.  Try setting deadlines and telling your friends, family and co-workers about them. This public commitment should keep you on track and motivate you to meet those deadlines.

If it’s your Will and finances that are on your endless to do list, you may not wish to announce this to your friends and co-workers, so why not get in touch with an estate planning specialist, like APS Legal Beverley, and commit to setting a date to discuss it and get it done?

(Part of a 2019 Report by Darren Tong of Alpha Efficiency Magazine)