DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a serious procrastinator. I have been like this for as long as I can remember, but it is starting to catch up with me in bad ways. I was recently late on a project at work because I took too long to get started.
Worse than that, I waited too long to order a specific item that my daughter requested for Christmas, and it was sold out by the time I got around to it. My daughter doesn’t ask for much. I got her something else, but I felt horrible. Some of her friends had wish lists that were pages long. She had only two items on her list, and one was no longer available when I finally tried to buy it. How can I be better about prioritizing my time and efforts? -- End of Procrastination
DEAR END OF PROCRASTINATION: This is a mind-over-matter situation. Up to now, you haven’t been hurt badly enough to change. Even with the examples you gave, you still have your job, and your daughter still loves you. Imagine for a moment if you had lost both of them. How would you feel?
Regarding work, it could be easy for you to lose favor with your company and then find yourself earmarked as disposable. You need to make yourself as close to indispensable as possible. Do that by showing up to work early, completing your most difficult or time-consuming tasks first and leaving with a smile on your face. Keep track of your responsibilities by writing them down. You may want to set an alarm that reminds you of upcoming deadlines with enough lead time to get them done.
As far as your daughter is concerned, think about her feelings. She is mindful enough not to ask for the moon, even though she sees other kids doing that. Honor her discipline in the future by doing your best to secure what she wants most. This is true during holiday times, but also in general. Pay attention to her, hear what she needs and be responsive. No more delays.