Procrastination = Complication

Apparently procrastination in society is getting worse. A Canadian industrial psychologist completed a 10 year research project and found that procrastination is definitely on the rise. His 30 page report appeared in the Psychological Bulletin over there and highlighted a number of issues. In 1978 only 5% of Americans were chronic procrastinators and now it is up to 26%.

Procrastinators tend to be less healthy, less wealthy and certainly less happy. The procrastinator delays filing tax returns, they leave Christmas shopping until the last minute, because they can't make a decision on what to buy Aunty. Apparently men are becoming worse procrastinators compared to women.

So how does this affect farmers and farming? It has been my experience that procrastinators are slow in making, or won't make the necessary decisions. GST, tax compliance and returns are all done late. The necessary decisions are not made on time and the issues that need to be addressed are left in abeyance.

As we all know, farming is all about decision making and timing. This is where meetings are a really good thing. Have meetings, make decisions and then act upon those decisions. Make a list and then complete the task on time and in a "workmanship" like manner. At the next meeting, make some more decisions, check on what hasn't been done and then get on with the necessary work.

Having meetings is all very well when you have more than one person involved, but if you are a sole trader, then you could use a consultant, or meet with your partner and run the same process.

If you are a procrastinator, action cures fear. If you are worrying about something, procrastinating will not solve it. Taking action is what you must to. Action is the cornerstone to improving yourself and even if you take action and get it wrong, that is ok, because at least you have made a decision and done something. Procrastination is a common thread with farmers that are in trouble. They avoid the necessary decisions and wonder why everybody is passed them by. They run right out of money, procrastinate about calling the bank manager or us, and wonder why the cheques are being bounced and everyone is getting grumpy.

In summary, procrastination robs you of the ability to make necessary decisions on time and take action to get things done. From the Canadian studies, it is clear that procrastination is on the rise. We probably all suffer from some form of it, but decisions have to be made on time and action taken. Remember that action cures fear and it is action that you must take.


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