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Delayed Gratification is Not Procrastination

Updated on October 17, 2016

Wait to Spend

Have you ever spent money on something you could afford today instead of waiting to save up for the better quality item and buying it later? Maybe you decided to buy the five dollar earphones instead of waiting till you had the $80 you needed for the good earphones. The only problem with buying the cheaper brand is they don't last as long and the sound is nowhere near the quality of the more expensive set.

You give up something when you buy cheaper products. In the case of the earphones you give up the quality of sound. Maybe you don't notice the difference until you actually put the good earphones on your head and listen to the same music being able to compare the sound. The same can be said for a car or a house or anything else you want to buy.

Your desire to have an object now will trick you into buying something of lesser quality because it promises the quality of the more expensive brand. 90% of the time this is not the case. You need to step back and think about how you can earn a little more money, wait a few more days or weeks till you have the amount you need to buy the proper item.

This can also drive you to go get a second job or to do a little extra work for a neighbor or a friend. Think about what you can do to earn that extra money to purchase the item you want. Let the drive to have that purchase now rather than later give you the inspiration to go out there and make the extra money sooner rather than later.

Big Project Overload

Have you ever stopped working on the big project because it was taking too long, to work on something else that takes less time and was more fun? I know how it feels when a project seems bigger than I can personally do. Even though I have weeks to complete it, just getting started is daunting because of how grandiose the project is.

When we feel like the project is too big, many times we will set it aside and work on something we know we can handle. This is a problem because we stop working on the big project, we stop taking chunks out of what it is that needs to be done. We forget that working on a project bit by bit is the only way it's going to get completed.

It is Hard to Wait

We don't like to wait in today’s society. We're so used to being able to make a phone call and go pick up our dinner. Now we can order our dinner online and have it delivered. We don't have to wait for transportation either. we can let Uber know we need a ride from the grocery store to our house and someone will come and pick us up and take us there.

If we need information about a certain subject we no longer have to seek out professionals that know about that subject. All we have to do is Google it online and dozens if not hundreds of links will be there to give us the answer. It may not always be the correct answer but getting the information is instantaneous.

Waiting takes patience and I don't think we have patience anymore. We want things and we want them now. We get very upset when we can't get them when we want them. There are whole industries out there to make things available for us when we want them. We pay for those services too.

We have to learn, to teach ourselves how to wait. We have to know when it is time to take a moment and think about the things we are doing. We have to discuss with other people and make a decision based on Quality and not necessarily speed or convenience.

Three ways to help you wait

Make a list of pros and cons to help you realize the importance of waiting for the money to buy a certain item or to purchase through a big project even though it seems large

Find a group of people that will help you stay on task and focused on what's most important.

Break the larger task into smaller ones and complete it in chunks. Make it feel like several small things you have to do instead of one big thing.

Levels of Self Control

Self-control is something we struggle with every day. Most of the time we can control our actions and thoughts keeping us out of trouble and from doing things we don't really intend to do. There are times however, when we are weak and fall prey to our own temptations and allow them to overcome us.

I lose my self control towards the end of the day when I'm tired. I also lose self-control when I'm hungry. The biggest biggest example of this is when I go shopping. If I'm in the store and I'm hungry I will buy things that I don't need. I will buy something that is not good for me to eat on my way home. This is not good for my health or my wallet.

To help battle these moments when I lack self control, I do a couple of different things. First I will make a list of the things I need to buy at the store or the things I need to complete. If I have this list I will be more likely to follow it. I will be less likely to do things that are not part of that list or to buy items that I don't need.

Another thing I do is bring somebody with me. This person should be responsible and preferably not hungry. I will be more likely to control myself if there somebody else is there to cheer me on or ignite my pride to keep my self control in check.

Work Till Your Done

Completing the project should be the number one priority. If you take breaks or gets stumped and just stop, that can lead to not completing the project on time. It's a good idea to push through and complete the project. You just keep working until it's complete.

This may not be an easy task. You may not be able to do it. You may have to stop. It may take several days to finish your project. The thing you must try to do is work until it's done. If you need help then you should ask for it. If you need a break, take the break and jump right back into the work. Don't allow it to sit for too long undone, because it will be hard to start again.

On the other side of this coin, if you are trying to budget yourself and keep from buying things you don't need, it might be a good idea to just go home instead of shopping. Don't even give yourself the opportunity to make a purchase you don't need.

You might say you need groceries. You might say you have nothing in the house to eat. I bet that's not true. I bet you probably have a can or two in your cupboard that you could eat. It might not be a good dinner but it would keep you from going to the store hungry. Waiting till you're not hungry anymore, then going shopping when you're more likely to be able to control yourself.

Some people go shopping just to go shopping. They are bored and think they need to go outside and do something other than sit at home. If you're trying to control your spending then this is the worst idea possible. You need to stay home and do something more constructive. Find a way to make more money so you can have something to spend next time you go out. Find a way to curb your desires to buy things. Maybe you can sort through the things you already have and sell things you haven't used in six months.

Do You Really Want It

I always ask myself if I really need an item before I buy it. I will walk around the store with a buggy full of things I think I want or need. By the time I get to the checkout I have talked myself out of buying half of it. The fact that our stores have millions of different options gives us the opportunity to buy things that we never thought we could. Having those options makes us feel like we need to spend our money on them. Commercials make us feel like we need to purchase them. This is not true.

To keep yourself from buying items you don't need, a list is a perfect way to curb those desires. If you make a list before you go to the store and you dedicate your mind to just sticking to that list then you will find more success in holding onto your money.

Maybe you're struggling to complete a project or even to go to work every day. Sometimes this frustration has a sign that the job you were doing is not meant for you. If you are constantly struggling to do the job that you have obligated yourself to do, maybe should think about whether or not you need to make a job change. There are hundreds of positions out there and you don't have to quit your current job until you find A new one.

Find Others to Help You

Some people may deny it, but humans are social creatures. We need each other to help us live stronger more fulfilling lives. We need each other to give our lives meaning.

If you are struggling with anything, it's a good idea to find somebody who can relate to your situation. Find somebody who has been through what you're going through and can give you tips and advice on what to do and how they got themselves through it.

Sometimes these people are family and friends. They can be people you're close to and you feel like you can tell anything to. These people are sometimes the best to confide in. They can keep your secrets. They can give you advice based on what they've seen in your situation.

Sometimes you need an outside voice. Sometimes you need somebody who does not know who you are to give you advice, to give you a new perspective on things. Sometimes their help is more important than those who are close to you. This usually happens in the creative field. People you work with, who have seen your work over and over again may be blind to some of the mistakes you make. Listen to that fresh perspective. It might change your life.


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