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5 Mistakes You Can Afford To Make When You’re Young

5 Mistakes You Can Afford To Make When You’re Young

Being young is great. Most of the parts of your body still work great, you have a full head of hair, you’re energetic, and you have a world of opportunity in front of you. However, there’s going to come a time when you start to get older. And as you get older, you’ll have new responsibilities, complete independence, and perhaps most importantly, less time to recover from mistakes.

You see, we all make mistakes in life. Maybe you spent more money than you should have on a car, you passed up on a great job opportunity, or you didn’t try as hard as you could have in school. It’s a part of life and we learn from it. But there are certain mistakes that are much better made while you’re still young and have plenty of time to recover.

I’m definitely not telling you that you should purposely go out and make these mistakes (because they’re a pain to recover from). But these are all mistakes that are much better made when you’re younger so that you can learn from them and not have them ruin your entire life.

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Starting The Wrong Career

Wouldn’t you hate to be 45 years old and discover that you absolutely hate what you do for a living? It’s a reality that a lot of people face and it can be difficult to fix. You see, when you’re 23 and find out you don’t like the career path you’ve chosen, you can easily explore new career options.

We no longer live in an age when people are expected to stay with one company until they retire. You can bounce around a little bit and find out what you want to do. When you get older, just switching careers whenever you want isn’t as simple.

You have to consider your family, retirement, the difficulties you might run into with starting from the bottom in a new industry, and plenty of other issues that someone in their early 20’s just doesn’t have to deal with.

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Dating the wrong person

The divorce rate in the U.S is extremely high. Other parts of the world aren’t doing too much better either. While everyone gets divorced for their own reasons, I think we can all agree that it’s better to find out that the person you’re with is wrong for you sooner rather than later.

Hopefully you find out whether or not the person you’re with is right for you before you tie the knot, because around 50% of first marriages end in divorce.

Messing up your credit

Ruining your credit is never a good idea. Even if you ruin it while you’re young, it could affect you in the future. The upside of having bad credit while you’re young instead of older is that you have time to build it back up.

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It can take 7-10 years to rebuild your credit if you have a history of late payments, loan defaults, foreclosures, or bankruptcy. During those 7-10 years, you’ll have a hard time financing anything unless you have a cosigner or put down a substantial down payment.

Most people tend to make most of the bigger purchases in life when they get older such as a house or their dream car. If you have bad credit, you can kiss all of that goodbye.

Making bad investments

If you’re investing money for your retirement, making bad decisions can mean you’ll be working your entire life. Whether you choose to pay someone to do the investing for you or handle it all yourself, it’s a lot better to take risks when you’re younger.

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If you invest in stock or even real estate while you’re young and the market takes a hit, you’re not ruined. Investing is a long-term venture, so the younger you start, the more fluctuation you can withstand and still come out with a positive return.

Blowing your money

What would you do if you went broke at 60 years old? You would be working your behind off when you really should be relaxing and getting ready to retire soon.

But if you’re 25 and broke, you still have plenty of time to earn more money. Also, nobody will judge you because it’s not unusual for people in their 20’s to not have money these days. You might have blown your money on a nice car or have an obsession with all the newest gadgets.

When you get older, you’ll be able to look back and realize how dumb you were for spending $20,000 on a brand new car when you were only 20 years old. But when you’re older and waste your money, you’ll REALLY have nothing to show for it.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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