I come from a long line of procrastinators. A family motto could be, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after that.” My dad never got around to giving the talk about the birds and the bees. I wrote my wedding speech between the church and the reception hall. My brother wrote his in the receiving line. I’ve finally decided to scratch off the last item on my to-do list because I’m pretty sure that I will never learn to speak Chinese.
So if we all procrastinate at something, come clean and admit what is on your list.
In school, many students put off writing papers and studying for exams until the last minute. One of my sons does this and it causes his parents and himself a great deal of stress. It may be that stress that he is dependent on to get motivated to cram and to write.
Some people neglect their financial affairs, putting off the paying of their bills and debts. This too can cause mounting anxiety, and as debt accumulates it can grow from intimidating to overwhelming proportions.
Most of us put off some of those crucial conversations with the important people in our lives. It seems easier to leave things unsaid and unresolved than broaching a sensitive or emotional area. But if you don’t get around to finding peace in your relationships, how will you feel if the unexpected happens and you never get another chance? It’s never too early to say I’m sorry, I forgive you, thank you and I love you. It often seems too early to say goodbye.
If you never get around to talking about the facts of life with your children, there is the possibility that they will discover first hand where babies (and sexually transmitted infections) come from.
Many of us procrastinate in matters of health. Out of busyness or anxiety, we may put off seeing the doctor, and we may neglect to do the recommended tests.
We tend to procrastinate major changes in our lifestyle – eating better, exercising more, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol. Even if we can see the benefits, it seems easier to act out of habit.
Next: When is it good to procrastinate?