You have a huge project looming yet you can't tear yourself away from Kylie Jenner's latest posts to Instagram. Your quarterly report is due tomorrow afternoon, yet baking an apple pie from scratch seems like a much better (and tastier) idea for now. Urgent emails are filling your inbox, but catching up on your Harry Potter series is all you can think about. Sounds like procrastination and there's a reason you're putting important work off 'till the last minute.
Your tendency to not get on top of things is not (entirely) your fault, but with some insight into the issue, you can take control of your destiny. There are actual reasons you're procrastinating and ways to change your behavior. See if any of these 3 reasons sound familiar. You can get on a better path once you realize the roadblocks ahead of you. But remember, read this NOW, don't put it off for later!
You Don't Want to Do It
Sometimes procrastination occurs when we simply don't feel like doing something. Have you ever let the garbage pail nearly overflow because you didn't feel like bagging it up and taking it to the curb? It's not particularly pleasant, so putting it off as long as possible seems like a reasonable reaction. But as we all know, the trash won't wind up outside unless you finally take it out. And don't you always wish you've done it sooner (i.e. before it starts to stink)?
Same goes for work-related items. Generally speaking, we don't want to do something because we deem it unpleasant (or boring). As per Psychology Today, "The most significant predictor of procrastination is a task that's considered unpleasant, boring, or uninteresting." We can even become lazy about the task(s) at hand and never seem to find the motivation to make a dent in the project.
What to do? According to Forbes, perhaps this project isn't necessary at all. "If you really don't want to do it, could you abandon the task entirely and save yourself the wasted time in putting it off?" If this is really an option, then move on to something that will actually move the needle. However, if totally ditching the task isn't doable, develop a plan.
Psychology Today recommends, "One strategy is to divide and conquer. Shift your focus from the ultimate goal to a series of easy to complete, intermediate tasks. Another strategy is to form an if-then plan to automate goal striving—e.g., if I turn on the computer, I will first work on my assignment for 45 minutes."
While some tasks aren't the most exciting, they won't become any more intriguing as time passes. Just gear up and do it. Thinking about it hour after hour and day after day will only supply you with more reasons to procrastinate. Break up the task into digestible bits and it won't seem so terrible.
Failure is a Worry
While procrastinating when you've got so much to do seems counterintuitive, many of us do so when we are fearful that we may not be successful in the endeavor. The possibility of failure is one of the biggest triggers leading to procrastination.
As per Lifehack, "Of course you cannot fail at something when you don't do it at all. Unfortunately, this is an unproductive way of thinking. Facing your fear of failure will help you eventually overcome that fear, or learn to manage it."
Put it this way. You'll definitely fail if you don't do your work at all. But you have a chance to succeed or at the very least, learn something of value, if you delve in and try. Psychology Today notes, "When difficulties arise, people with weak self-confidence easily develop doubts about their ability to accomplish the task at hand, while those with strong beliefs are more likely to continue their efforts. When low self-confidence causes people to avoid activities, they miss opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills."
If you were assigned a project at work, your manager or boss believes in you. He or she trusts you have the abilities to succeed. Use their encouragement to fuel your desire to get to work and do a great job.
Without a sense of structure or proper planning, it's easy to put off a project that needs a timeline in order to work on it to completion effectively. You may not know where or how to start, so you just don't.
According to Psychology Today, "The collapse of the delay between impulse and decision inevitably favors impulse (e.g., checking Facebook instead of doing work); our easy online access makes urges easy to gratify. One solution to this is to design your environment in a way that makes your desired goal more likely to happen."
You can create a summary of the project or an organizational flow chart. Lay out the items that must be finished before you can move on to the other tasks. If you are working on a group project, assign specific tasks to the members of the group so the work doesn't seem so overwhelming.
In the meantime, remove yourself from distractions like social media and other work that's not as pressing, but more interesting to you. You can get to those things later. Give yourself the best chance to succeed – a clear mind and environment. You will then have the ability to focus and finish.
Are you motivated to get to work without delay? Understanding the reasons why you're putting off important work gives you the chance to do things the right way. Now get to it!
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.