Hegwood Law - January 2019

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JANUARY 2019

PROCRASTINATION: What It Is, Why We Do It, and How to Avoid It in 2019

A s we start the after-Christmas process of taking down the festive twinkly lights from our houses and packing away the ornaments and stockings, many people put on their favorite Christmas movie as a kind of last holiday hurrah before the new year sets in. One that often comes to mind for me is “A Christmas Carol,” based on the short novel by Charles Dickens. Dickens famously wrote, “My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” Especially during the month of January — the time for goal-setting and resolution- making — this quote is particularly relevant. Procrastination is not a novel idea. Human beings have been procrastinating for centuries. The problem is so timeless, in fact, that ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle developed a word to describe this type of behavior: akrasia. Essentially, this means we often act against our better judgment, like when you do one thing even though you know you should do something else.

phenomenon, why does it keep occuring? To answer this question, behavioral-psychology research points to “time inconsistency,” a term which helps explain why procrastination seems to lure us in despite our good intentions. In short, time inconsistency implies that we value immediate rewards in the present over potential rewards in the future. Over the years, I’ve noticed that procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is the No. 1 reason that my clients feel stressed throughout the year. For example, because estate planning can be a difficult topic, people tend to put it off. In reality, though, being proactive regarding your assets should be at the top of your priority list because it is one of the tasks that matters most. Yes, it’s easy to ignore it and focus on other goals with more immediate rewards, but the truth is that estate planning, or the lack thereof, affects everybody in your life. In fact, there have been numerous times when families have come into my office after a loved one has passed and have been confused and upset. No plans had been made and no documents were created to help them carry out their loved one’s wishes for their legacy. Taking action to properly plan can be one of the best things you can do for your family. As we start 2019, making the choice to avoid procrastination when possible might be an ideal resolution to set for yourself. One scientifically proven way to accomplish this is to make your goals or tasks more achievable. When it comes to planning for the future, my

team and I can help make protecting your loved ones and assets far easier by walking you through the necessary steps. Get started now, so you can spend the rest of 2019 with the peace of mind and assurance that you are living by Dickens’ advice and making the most of every day.

“‘My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.’”

Anybody who suffers from procrastination knows that it often wreaks major havoc on your life. Yet, it still continues to affect millions of people’s daily habits. If it’s a negative

-Kim Hegwood

281.218.0880

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