6 Hacks to Help Stop Financial Procrastination in Its Tracks

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a man hanging an analog clock on a white wallWhether you set time aside every January or reflect on self-improvement projects throughout the year, dreaming up all those resolutions that you’re absolutely, positively, definitely going to tackle is the easy part.

You’ll be better at balancing your checkbook. You’ll finally kick your retirement savings into high gear. And you’re not going to let that financial paperwork pile up again.

Yet while you have a game plan for just how to get there in your head, you somehow can’t get your brain to flip the switch to “action.”

Perhaps it’s because you’re not really a procrastinator—you just work best under pressure. Once the 11th hour strikes, the creative juices start flowing, and you can tackle just about anything, right?

Actually, no, says Timothy Pychyl, author of “Solving the Procrastination Puzzle” and associate professor of psychology at Carleton University. “We make more errors [under pressure],” he says. “It’s not that you work better under pressure—you only work under pressure.”

In other words, you can’t get anything done unless you have a fire lit under you, which is when you start cursing yourself for not having the willpower to start earlier.

The good news is that sheer willpower isn’t the whole story when it comes to defeating procrastination. And there are plenty of ways to outsmart yourself, so that you can beat your own tendencies toward procrastination.

In fact, with the help of some behavioral and financial pros, we’ve gathered six strategies that can help you stop delaying the money-related tasks that can enable you to reach your financial goals.

The first step? Keep reading.

RELATED: Financial Procrastination: 4 Ways We Get in Our Own Way