I am regularly putting things off until later.
Sometimes, it is a good strategy. There have been a great many times when waiting has offered new opportunities or allowed me to obtain better information. It is because of these times that I find the strategy attractive.
Sometimes it is a very bad strategy. There have also been times when waiting has cost me. For example, I have lost opportunities to attend events, because I waited until all reservations were taken. I have had to spend more money, because I waited until the “early bird” pricing was over. I have missed events or decisions altogether, because I forgot until after the event or decision time was past.
In looking back at these situations, most of the time it was fairly obvious whether or not waiting was going to be a good strategy. Unfortunately, either I didn’t see it at the time or I was afraid to take action.
Recently, whenever I have been tempted to put off a decision or action, I have been trying to ask myself if waiting will add value. If I answer “yes”, I then need to figure out what that value is. I have also been asking myself what it might cost to wait. Identifying these two things has helped. At least for now, I’ve found it keeps waiting from being my default strategy. And, in several cases, it has paid off handsomely!
So, if you are tempted to put something off, ask yourself why? Is it because you need more information? Is it because you don’t have the money now? Is it because you think the situation will change significantly? If so, ask yourself how you will be able to tell when the situation is more attractive. Once the situation meets those criteria, don’t wait any longer. Just do it!
If you don’t have a good reason for putting something off, then don’t. Taking care of the situation right away will allow you to move on to other things.
So, what are you waiting for?