Posted by: Ellen Hankes | March 15, 2010

What is Later Thinking?

“Ask me later.”

 “Buy now, pay later.”

 “I will do it later.”

Later is quite a simple word–just five small letters, but it carries a huge impact. Procrastinators simply love the word later as do credit card companies. Chronically disorganized people often plan to get things organized later. Clutter can mount when tackling it is delayed until later.

While some people are being habitually late, others will employ delay tactics to put off something that is not interesting or challenging to them at the moment. Independent workers frequently find with unstructured time that they undeterminately delay until  later the tasks that are of little interest or for which they lack everything they need to begin the task.

An inaccurate perception of time is often a challenge for those who delay tasks or projects until later. For example, it is difficult to begin a task later when the person isn’t sure when later occurs. The situation is compounded when there is no time established to start the task in the first place. Later can be later in the morning, later in the day or later in an undefined time frame.

Later can mean missed opportunities, feelings of failure, disappointment by others and other consequences. If you want to change your later thinking, here are several tips you can apply sooner than later:

  • Listen to yourself. When you think or say later, ask yourself “When?” Just call it later surgery.
  • Work with an accountability partner. Ask a friend or colleague to help you become more accountable to your schedule.
  • Take a realistic look at your time. Overcommitment can lead to postponing important work or life events.

Is later an issue for you? What does later thinking prevent you from doing? I would like to hear from you?



  1. Very thought-provoking! Thanks, Ellen!

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