This just in from a new study out of the University of
Calgary:

Procrastination makes you poorer, fatter, and unhappier.

Uh-oh.

Now like you I am sure, I know intuitively that procrastinating is not a good thing to do.

But I hadn’t thought that constantly putting off important things would make us poorer, fatter, and unhappier.

I guess that I am not really surprised though.

I mean I didn’t develop good savings and investment habits until relatively late in life. Had I been aware of the impact of what I wasn’t doing, I would have started saving and investing at a much younger age.

What I found interesting from this study were the psychological factors that the study’s author, Piers Steel, found to be as the cause of procrastination.

Professor Steel found that the two most important factors in whether you will get something done or procrastinate about it are…

  1. Your Confidence of Successfully Completing the Task
  2. The Value to You of Completing the Task

In addition, he found that chronic procrastinators are typically impulsive. That is they are easily distractible because they value more what they can have right now than something that might take more work to payoff in the future.

Upon reading this I could immediately relate to the psychology of it (in spite of the discussion in the article of the wacky "procrastination causes" equation that this professor created).

In the past few years as I have been building my business, I have gone through periods where I have procrastinated on certain projects, goals, or activities.

And what I have noticed is that when I am holding back on something instead of going for it, I am usually uncertain about how to accomplish the task successfully.

In other words I was not confident that I would successfully complete the endeavor. I didn’t have enough knowledge of how to get the job done to be confident that I could do it.

I mean when you know – when you believe – that if you do something a certain way, and that by doing things that certain way you will get a specific result, then you have no hesitation and you just do it.

Especially when it is valuable enough and important enough to you.

But when you have a result you want to achieve, and you don’t know which approach will give you certainty of or a high likelihood of success, then you are much more reluctant
to move forward.

In other words you procrastinate.

Now when I was younger, I didn’t fully comprehend the value of good saving and investing habits. I mean I think of myself as a pretty smart guy, but I always thought that putting money away and leveraging it was something that I could do later. I didn’t really clue in as to the consequences of what I wasn’t doing.

Or in the language of Professor Steel’s study, I didn’t value highly the "task" of saving and investing money.

How about you?

What are you procrastinating about?

Are you making the calls, and sending out the letters, the emails, and the faxes that you need to have a great year?

And what are you not valuing enough right now that should be more important to you?
 
Are there sales skills you should develop further to increase your confidence of succeeding when you do go out and sell this year?

If so stop procrastinating.

Look at the consequences of not doing something, or of doing something the wrong way, and increase your awareness of how important this should be to you.

Then go out and acquire the skills needed to make sure that you can be successful right now.

Sell Without Shame,

Shameless Shamus