We all procrastinate from time to time, but it rarely contributes positively towards finishing a task, or resolving a problem. In fact, one could argue that procrastinating is the worst possible thing you could do.
Let me tell you about an experience I had with procrastination this weekend:
Over the weekend I needed gas for the lawnmower, so I put my gas can in the back of the van and headed for the gas station. As I was doing so, my wife stated she was concerned I was going to spill gas and recommended I put the gas can in a bin or something else to prevent gas from being spilled onto the carpeting of the van. I dismissed her concern as I had done this a thousand times without spilling more than a drop of gasoline.
As you might imagine, the universe didn’t take kindly to this treatment of my wife’s concern. Not only did a few drops fly out of the ventilation hole, but the entire gas can bounced on it’s side spilling a considerable amount of gasoline onto the carpeting of the back of the van. I could smell it the instant it happened.
Thinking it was no big deal, I dabbed as much of it up as I could using paper towels at the gas station pump. Driving home the odor was so strong it gave me a headache. I didn’t do anything about it believing that it would eventually dry and evaporate resulting in the odor disappearing.
By Monday morning it had become apparent that the odor was not going away on it’s own. I treated the back of the van with baking soda, scrubbing the spot with water, and even used my full sized carpet cleaner to shampoo and rinse the area.
Finally, after spending a couple of hours on it, the odor subsided.
Later in the morning as I was reconciling my checkbook, I couldn’t help but draw parallels from my recent experience to finances as well as pretty much every aspect of life.
- Problems Don’t Resolve Themselves : My gasoline spill didn’t resolve itself, and neither will your spending or debt problem. You’ve got to make the effort!
- Problems Typically Get Worse If Ignored : Letting the gasoline sit for 2 days before I did anything likely allowed it to really penetrate into the carpet and even spread. By not addressing your financial difficulties, your debt mountain will only get bigger and you’ll become more set in your ways of problematic spending.
- Problems Are Hard To Hide : If anyone got in my van in those two days where I had a gasoline odor problem, they would have smelt it immediately. You might be able to hide your financial problems for some amount of time, but eventually it will become obvious.
- Increased Stress : While waiting for my odor problem to just magically go away, I thought about it constantly. I would even put my head inside the van periodically to see if it was getting better. I was stressed out about it, not to mention the smell gave me a headache each time I had to drive somewhere.
Waiting to deal with my gasoline odor problem was simply delaying the inevitable. Eventually I had to deal with the problem. Instead of letting a hard to hide problem stress you out AND get worse, grab the bull by the horns (figuratively) and just deal with it. Now.
How about you, EOD Nation, have you ever ignored a problem in life – financial or otherwise – and made it worse by procrastinating?