Squanderlust is a podcast about the emotional side of money. It is hosted by Martha Lawton and Alex Lemon and recorded with technical sponsorship at Wardour Studios, London.

Episode 12: The Price of Procrastination

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Show notes

Most people procrastinate sometimes. When it comes to money there are lots of things to procrastinate over. After all, most of the money-related jobs aren’t that much fun. The trouble is that procrastination is costly, both literally and emotionally. It’s easy to waste money procrastinating. It’s also easy to beat yourself up for procrastinating, but it isn’t helpful.

This New York Times article argues that procrastination is a kind of self-harm. We discussed how procrastinating, especially about money, can lead you into a shame spiral.

Procrastination can be a way to cause yourself future cost, discomfort and embarrassment. That means if you feel depressed and self-hating, you can use it as a way to punish yourself. If the thing you feel bad about is also a period of procrastination, then you have a self-perpetuating loop. You can break the loop at any point, but you have to recognise it and find the right exit point for you.

Our tips:

  • procrastination doesn’t make you a bad person, you’re not lazy or stupid, you just made a mistake. Forgive yourself and move on;

  • even if you still feel terrible, don’t let shame win by making you procrastinate more (and cause yourself further shame) you can break the spiral by choosing to do just a bit of the thing you need to do;

  • imagine the voice of procrastination in your head as your frenemy. It’s not a friend who wants you to have fun, it’s a sneaky bully out to get you into trouble (Alex’s procrastination frenemy is this guy, Martha’s is this girl);

  • this is a classic for a reason - split things you want to procrastinate on into their smallest possible component activities and do just one of those tiny little bits, congratulate yourself for each small win;

  • re-frame boring, hard activities you might want to procrastinate on (especially financial ones) as ways of caring for yourself, think about how much better you’ll feel when they’re done.

Episode 13: Sterotypes Sell

Episode 11: Interview Money A+E