When you take a look at the daily habits you encounter on a consistent basis, do they invite you to a lifestyle of ‘getting it done as soon as possible’ or ‘putting it off as long as possible’? One or the other can usually be seen as the typical way your thinking occurs in a majority of the decisions you make everyday, leading one to be the overall mentality by which you live.
Both ways of thinking can be seen in habits ranging from how you pay bills to goal-setting timelines. When it comes to paying bills, the convenience of having a due date can very easily trigger a desire to put off making the payment as long as possible. There is often the belief that more important matters need to be taken care of at the moment; a belief which can quite possibly be true more times than not. Also, paying bills by a due date is certainly much better than making late payments and paying by the due date doesn’t necessarily lower your credit score. More important than any of these, however, is recognizing how this habit of putting it off as long as possible can spill over into other areas of your life. It is the need for a due date, which becomes dependent upon, that can sometimes hinder success.
Whenever you take your clothing to a seamstress to be fitted, one seamstress may ask ‘when do you need it?’ In other words, when is my due date, while another seamstress will simply give you the day your clothing will be ready. Two different mentalities, likely for various reasons, but which do you think is closer related to putting things off as long as possible? Which do you think makes more money?
When a college student takes a self-paced course, there’s only one due date, which is at the end of the semester. Some students will complete the requirements in half the time allowed, despite the end-of-semester due date. Some will use the full semester, putting off some of the work as long as they can. Although both ways can lead to the best grade possible, it is more important to recognize the lifestyle or mentality that develops or has already been established within each strategy.
Due dates are not at all the enemy here. In fact, they give you the opportunity to work with your finances, balance your responsibilities and they help you create order. They can also open the door to a sense of accomplishment when you meet their expectations. It is when due dates are given by others, rather than yourself, that they tend to control other areas of your life, including the way you think, the habits you develop, and even the level of success you achieve. The habit of working towards someone else’s expectations or someone else’s due date, will keep you spending more time thinking about and working towards their success.
Although most of your responsibilities will come with a due date of some sort, a more driven mentality is practiced by the one who sets their own due date within the date already set. Instead of expending all the time you’re given, a more driven mentality gravitates towards getting things done as soon as possible as opposed to putting things off as long as you can. Creating such habits as paying bills as soon as they arrive, setting your own due date standards as a seamstress, and completing self-paced college courses sooner than required, will find you more prepared when grand opportunities present themselves. Such habits will give you the control over your life rather than your life being controlled by every due date that comes your way. Instead of planning towards when the due date is, decide instead, how soon you can get it done. The ‘get it done as soon as possible’ lifestyle brings on a sense of control that allows you to determine what you are capable of achieving. The ‘put it off as long as I can’ mentality allows others to place limits on what you can handle. The more you control your own due dates, the more mentally prepared you are for your next challenge and the more excited you will be about your next achievement.
The ‘putting it off’ mentality can take away so much valuable time, especially when you put things off just because you can. It forces you to live by last-minute standards and can often cause you to miss valuable opportunities. Over time, living by the ‘putting it off’ mentality too often becomes a way of thinking that will determine your journey, your level of success, and your contributions to the life given to you. I challenge you today, to examine at least one area of your day-to-day living where you can improve upon the timing you either complete a particular task or pay what is owed. Incorporate your own due date within the one already established for you. Each time you exceed what is expected, it will strengthen your desire to exceed expectations in other areas of your life as well. Before you know it, you will begin to build on the mentality of getting things done as soon as possible, rather than putting things off as long as you can. Such progress in your life will be the key to the preparation needed to reach more goals, especially in a more profitable manner and it will give you the confidence needed to accomplish anything you set your mind to achieving. Take a chance. Set your own due dates and take control so you can experience all that life has in store for you.
Author Tawana R. Powell