IS PROCRASTINATION STOPPING YOU?
2 Simple Actions You Can Take to Break Through
I have something I need to confess.
I procrastinated in writing and sharing this article. I put it off. I delayed. I did other things. I made excuses.
Do you ever do any of these things? Sometimes you and I procrastinate.
We may even be procrastinating in taking that next step in our real estate investing, in preparing for our retirement life, right? We may delay making an investment we have been thinking about, delaying, putting off, making excuses instead of doing it.
I was talking with an investor friend on the phone last night. He lives between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. He has a full time job, but realizes investments in real estate are a proven way to build wealth. He has saved up some funds over the years and invested in mutual funds.
He realizes what he wants to do, would be wise to do and he stated this realization in the often said statement, “There are two best times to plant a tree, 20 years ago is the first best, and today is the second best time. Twenty years from now I can look back and be happy for this tree I planted in my first real estate investments. Let’s do this.”
PROCRASTINATION HAS ITS PLACE
Before we go on, realize that most things have a purpose. Procrastination can have a purpose. Sometimes, something inside us tells us that this is not the time, yet. Perhaps we need more information. Perhaps we really do need to sleep on the decision before we make it. Perhaps we would be wise in consulting someone wiser or smarter than we are before taking action.
When I was in college, a friend and I heard about a business being sold. We said, “Let’s buy it.” It had a great reputation, was in a perfect location, was cash flowing very well, and could be operated very easily. We could think of many reasons to pool what money we had and buy this business.
But, we procrastinated, or maybe a better way to put it, we thought about it a little longer. We consulted some trusted advisors, did a little more due diligence on the business, and thought about our plans for the future.
What a wise decision it was, to have procrastinated, delaying action, and not pulling that trigger.
If you are procrastinating, for example, in making your first investment in real estate, it may be a good thing. I will share how taking a pause might be a good thing in a later section, depending on what you do in that pause.
Some of us aren’t procrastinating, we are paralyzed with analyzing. Or we don’t yet have a good game plan for proceeding.
FEAR AND OVERWHELM MAY PLAY A PART
Sometimes it is our emotional selves, paralyzed with fear or overwhelmed by all that is new or too big to be comfortable about the decision we are making.
Again, these emotions, such as fear, have their purpose. They are alerts built into us as people. Fear is a warning sign about something that could be dangerous. Fear can be a reminder by our minds of something we experienced previously.
Fear and other emotions are like the pain we feel when we get burned by a hot pan or get a splinter in our finger. The pain and fear are there for a reason, to alert us.
I have a friend who is paralyzed from the waist down. She doesn’t feel pain in her legs and feet. If she gets cut on a foot and it starts bleeding, she won’t know it. Pain has a purpose. So do other emotions like fear and overwhelm.
Pay attention to whatever you are feeling. Be present with your emotions. Ask them what they are saying to you, or even warning you about. Acknowledge them. Even appreciate them.
Sometimes, though, we get stuck in our emotions, don’t we?
Sometimes we are wise to speak to our emotions, thank them for alerting us, and telling them we hear them and are going to take the action anyway.
In the next section, I will share two small actions that have helped me, over and over again, to take responsibility for both my emotions and my choices to take action. These two very small actions have helped me break through procrastination, such as with writing this article.
TWO SMALL ACTIONS TO BREAK THROUGH
If for example:
- You have realized that making an investment in real estate might be the right fit for you.
- You have done a bit of reading about real estate investing.
- You have talked with some trusted advisors about the risks and benefits.
- You have run some numbers for yourself.
- You know this could be a very wise decision to go ahead and do it, but you are putting it off, delaying, procrastinating.
These two tips might be helpful. I hope they are.
I have used these with decisions/actions about real estate investing and about many other things in my life.
The first action is to pause… This can be for 30 seconds or 3 minutes or whatever you need. The purpose is to stop the worrying, the queasy fealing with your procrastination, with whatever is going on. Simply, pause.
Find a quiet place. Stop what you are doing.
Take a deep breath in and slowly let a deep breath out.
Create a small gap between where you are and your normal reaction, such as procrastinating. In that small gap, created by this pause, move back into control
Ask yourself two questions. First, is what I am delaying doing important to me? Second, is there some small step forward I can take?
This will lead you to the second action.
SECOND: TAKE A SMALL STEP
If you have determined that what you want to do is important to you, then decide to take some small step in the direction of what is important.
- If making a real estate investment is important to you.
- If you have thought about it
- If you have considered some of the risks and benefits
- If you realize that others have made such investments with excellent results, and
- If you have found someone to invest with that you trust
Then think about the smallest first step you can take.
Perhaps it is to call the trusted person on the phone. Perhaps it is to write down a dollar amount that would be small but be a first step. Perhaps it is to find a good friend to go in with you. There are many options you have for this first, small step.
Then, take that very small first step. Then as you learn more and stretch your comfort zone, take another small step. And another, and another.
I paused and took a deep breath and realized I was putting off writing this article. While I paused, I realized sharing this with you was important for you, and for me. So, I took a very small first step. I opened up a new Word document and typed a rough headline and then a first sentence, and another…
Here we are.
I sure am glad I took action with my first real estate investments nearly 50 years ago. That was the best time then. I am still taking action these days. This is the best time now.
What are you going to do when you are delaying doing something you know is important? What is a first, small step you can take? Will you pause so you can push through your fear or whatever else is going on and be responsible for your actions?
We at Attune Investments stand ready to help you get the information you need for making a real estate investment if that is important to you. Take a small step. Give us a call. Let’s talk.
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Harland leads our Investor Relations. He is a “repurposed” Pastor and Army Chaplain. He is an author, speaker, mastermind facilitator, and coach. Harland lives with his wife, Barbara, in DeLand, Florida.