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The Price of Procrastination

We’ve all been there…we had a decision to make that was looming over us like a heavy cloud. This cloud may have been hovering for weeks, months or even years! When someone with a physical challenge is relying on a person who procrastinates ~ the ramifications can be devastating. When people suspend decision making, there’s more going on than we realize.

Procrastinators often times are dealing with the fear of failure. There may be an internal struggle with low self-esteem which adds stress to the mix of fear and anxiety. They may believe they aren’t qualified to make certain decisions and don’t realize there are professionals here to help.

Others procrastinate because they are perfectionists and feel that if they can’t accomplish the task at hand perfectly, it’s not worth doing at all. Or at least it’s not worth doing now. When perfectionism is in play – nothing gets done.

The third type of procrastinator is the person who gets trapped in analysis paralysis. This is the individual who needs to hear the same answers to the same questions 42 different ways, so they can think about deciding soon. They become frozen in time and unable to move forward.

Procrastination can have some nasty side effects. If the person is an employee and is expected to possess rapid decision-making skills, their career is in trouble. Students’ grades will suffer if they stay on the path of postponing projects. Some individuals will feel tremendous guilt, frustration, anxiety and even slip into depression.

People with physical challenges may suffer greater losses at the hands of procrastinators. Family members of someone with mobility concerns need to act sooner rather than later.

When someone is feeling unsteady in their tub or shower, the worst thing we can do is to put off getting bath safety features installed. Instead of being forward thinking, people often wait until an accident has taken place before making that call. There’s a reason the bathroom is called the most dangerous room in the house! The cost to remodel a bathroom or create a barrier free shower isn’t even close to the fees one may have to endure in a lengthy hospital stay let alone rehab!

People who are no longer agile on stairs frequently tumble down the steps which can lead to broken hips, wrists, concussions and even worse! I know one such family that avoided calling for a stair lift until after their loved one fell down an enormous flight of stairs eight times!

When we put something off, we are pretending the avoidance will not cost us anything. Procrastination always has a price! It’s best to call when the first inclinations surface that perhaps we need help. There is truth to the old adage: If you THINK you need an attorney ~ you probably do! Accessibility solutions will always cost less than the emotional trauma of a loved one falling and being carried off into an ambulance.

Here are 3 Steps to Conquer Procrastination:

MOTIVATE

Know that you have the choice for change! Recognize this is important to you physically, emotionally and financially. Understand there are consequences for putting things off. Will someone else be suffering because of the delay?

MANAGE

Manage your time! Make plans with goals in mind. Be specific with what you need to do – for example: Call Gamburd for a consultation on a stair lift or bathroom remodel. Contact a friend to take you to the Gamburd showroom to see, touch and feel the handrails, or ride the various lifts. Make an appointment with a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist to discuss mobility concerns.

MITIGATE MENTAL BARRIERS

When we choose to change the way we think, we regain a sense of freedom. We start to feel confident as that grip of anxiety eases up. We realize that we no longer need to live in the land of overwhelmed.

Self-awareness can be extremely valuable as we start to observe the thoughts that float through our heads! We may have entertained ideas like… “If I start on this now it will take too much time” or, “This is too difficult” or, “I can’t deal with this til tomorrow, next week or next month”. All these thoughts lead us into the cycle of procrastination. Once we see it for what it is; just a pattern of negative thoughts, we can make a move to mitigate them!

These thoughts are blocking us from doing what needs to be done. People may be relying on us. The physical safety of our friends or family may even be hanging in the balance. The best way to diminish the power of negative thinking is through positive action. Decide to be different. Write down what needs to be down and attack the list. Even if only for 15 minutes a day start there and just do! We have wasted far too many hours defending why we can’t get something done. Now it’s time to take charge and empower our lives and the lives of those around us.

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