Wednesday 22 November 2017

Top 4 Tasks that Irish People Put Off To Another Day

Putting it off till tomorrow
Putting it off till tomorrow

Are you guilty about not responding to text messages? Is the key fob the only evidence of use of your expensive gym membership? Are you stuck in a weekly pattern, determined to start eating healthily every Monday morning?

Well you’re not alone.  ‘Tomorrow syndrome’ is rampant in Ireland.  We are a nation of procrastinators.  AIB has taken the lead and commissioned research* across the country to find out what exactly we are not doing right now. 

Here are the top 4 tasks that Irish people are currently putting off to another day:

1.  We’re Not Future-Proofing

In a survey of 1,000 Irish adults, financial planning is top of the list when it comes to putting it off to another day.  59% of people say that they have never even received financial planning services in the past.  They cite plenty of excuses including ‘time pressure’, with 25% of people saying they just ‘don’t have the time’ and 1 in 5 people put off the process as they say that it seems too complex for them. 

Financial planning is also viewed as something ‘for the older generation’ and 9% of people classed themselves as ‘too young’ to be seeking such advice. 

2.  We’re Putting Off Exercise

As Oscar Wilde put it “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after”.  44% of those surveyed across Ireland are obviously taking this approach and mention that they are just not getting around to exercise!

The Irish government have recognized this and has now launched the first ever National Physical Activity Plan and aim to get half a million more people taking regular exercise and have ring fenced €5.5m for the plan in 2016.

The key target is to increase the number of people in the country taking regular exercise by 1% a year over ten years – that’s around 50,000 people every year or half a million in total – by making exercise a normal part of everyday life and giving people more opportunities to be active.  The emphasis is on fun and enjoyment but the goal couldn’t be more serious with 7 in 10 adults in Ireland not getting enough exercise right now.

3.  We’re Salad Dodging

37% of people in Ireland are not getting around to healthy eating, even though they want to.  While the respondents were light hearted in their responses, there is actually a serious obesity problem now in Ireland, recognised by The World Health Organisation.

Ireland is now set to become the most obese country in Europe along with the UK within a decade and one of the most alarming statistics is that almost one fifth of the world’s obese adults (118 million) now live in Ireland.

4.  We ‘Forget’ to Text Back

Just over a quarter of those surveyed (26%) just do not get around to responding to a text message.  We’re a nation that loves to talk and communicate and one of the most telling statistics on how Irish people are using their phones can be seen in the increase in popularity of messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.  We’re changing our habits and prefer instant messaging.

According to ComReg, between late 2014 and late 2015, the number of SMS messages sent on Irish mobile networks has actually declined – and this was by 14.8%, so it seems that Irish people might be slowly abandoning text messages – either just forgetting or using other apps.

So even though we’re putting off or forgetting exercise, healthy eating and texting, how do Irish people plan to survive financially into the future without financial planning? 

Our procrastination is matched with traditional Irish optimism, according to the survey. 41% of those surveyed mentioned that their back up plan is “winning the Lotto”, 15% have the unlikely hope that they will “spot a valuable antique!” 

Others are looking at the generations in front of and behind them:  9% of the survey respondents hope that they will “raise a child prodigy and 2% are hoping for the generosity of parents and relatives with their “inheritance” as a back up to making a personal financial plan.  1 in 5 people are considering developing a personal financial plan ‘at some stage’.

Irish broadcaster and journalist Mairead Ronan comes across this procrastination all the time in her radio and television work and can also relate to it in her daily life.  “I can definitely relate to finding an excuse to putting off things to another day and it’s good to see that I’m not the only one who is convinced I’ll win the Lotto some day!   Like everyone, it’s hard to find the time to plan for the future, but with a young family it’s good to have a backup plan.”

AIB’s financial planning service is available through the AIB Branch network and over the phone. Appointments can be made online, on the phone or in Branch.

The service is confidential with no obligations or cost and takes approximately 45-60 minutes. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is tied to Irish Life Assurance plc, for life and pensions business.

Visit for further information. 


Allied Irish Banks, plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Irish Life Assurance plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

* Coyne Research (1,000 Irish adults from around Ireland surveyed between 26th September and 2nd of October, 2016)

Sponsored by: AIB

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