The Price of Procrastination

Desmond McCain

The Price of Procrastination

When it comes to myself as a young professional and entrepreneur,  a few characteristics that it takes to be successful are diligence, resilience, and intelligence. Unfortunately, there is one characteristic that plagues me day after day. I call it “Chronic Procrastination”. I added “chronic” because it can get bad at times. The price one pays for procrastination is hefty, and I have a couple of short snippets where procrastination has either cost me or someone I know business or time, which in turn equates to money! In my line of work, when it starts affecting your money, change is necessary!

Costs you business

An old friend of mine owned a dessert catering company and curated delicious desserts. He was popular because of his cakes and from time to time, you may see a celebrity or two indulging in his masterpieces. Although successful, he also struggled with “Chronic P” (short for you know what) and one time, in particular, it cost him a fortune. One particular afternoon, he received a call from the representation of a famous billionaire. They had heard of his cakes and wanted one for a huge party they were having. They called and did not reach my friend, so, they left a message. He listened to the voicemail and said he would call them back,  right after he finished a task that had just come up. That task turned into several others and his two-hour delay in returning a very important phone call morphed into a couple of days. When he got around to returning the phone call, he was met with an unpleasant surprise. The billionaire had found someone else to provide them with their cake. “Chronic P” had caused him to miss out on the business opportunity of a lifetime, one that would have probably solidified his brand for years to come.

Costs you time

Sometimes, I tend to procrastinate when it comes to the smallest of tasks. As a CPA, I work with clients daily making sure their businesses stay on track financially and their books are top notch at all times. I use software that integrates with their bank accounts that keep track of all of their transactions. This software enables me to easily categorize each transaction. As you can probably imagine, transactions can begin to mount up as time goes by, especially if I don’t go into the system and categorize them. This is where “Chronic P” gets the best of me. Although financial statements are compiled at the end of each month, it would make sense for me to categorize transactions each week so at the end of the month, there aren’t hundreds of transactions just sitting there in limbo waiting to be categorized. From time to time, I let that little voice inside me say – “Hey just wait ‘til next week to get those”, “It’s not that much”, or “It will take you no time to get through those so don’t worry about it for now.” What that leads to is unfortunate. At the end of the month, I have several clients I have to do this for. The time it takes to scour through all those transactions that have gathered in limbo is enormous. This is lost time I could have spent working on acquiring new clients, finishing other projects, increasing my knowledge or writing this blog post a week early, that I’m now turning in the day of. When we succumb to that voice in our heads telling us to push this and that back, we cost ourselves valuable time and in turn, dollars are sacrificed. Although it may not seem tangible, that time adds up, and as the old adage goes– time is money!

With that said, for anyone who struggles with it, I hope these short snippets help you understand the gravity of “Chronic P”. You may say well how do we fix it? I believe it’s a mindset and it begins within. It’s a mental wall that we must canvas each day to consistently be successful.

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The Price of Procrastination