Tattoos and Time Management

Got a tattoo? According to, about 45 million Americans have at least one "inking" on their body. As you might imagine, the age groups with the largest percentage of individuals with tattoos are those 18-25 (36%) and 26-40 (40%). 

While reading the Yahoo article, Why Tattoo Regret Is Finally Settling In For Baby Boomers, I was curious to find the reasons why people get a tattoo. In a Harris Interactive Poll, over 2000 people with tattoos were asked such a question, and these were the findings:

  • 30% said it made them feel more sexy
  • 25% reported it made them feel rebellious
  • 16% said it was related to their spirituality
  • 9% thought it made them feel healthy
  • 8% reported it made them feel attractive

What got my attention was the number of people who are now getting tattoos removed... over 45,000 procedures were done in 2013. And the main group is women 30-50 years old.

What does this have to do with time management you ask? I think it highlights the incredible impact of feelings on our choice of actions. In the list above, over 70% of the respondents took the action due to a strong emotional influence.

Meanwhile, the activities that aren’t as quickly emotionally appealing, but critical to our long term success, wait to be accomplished.

As we plan our day, there is an enormous desire to undertake tasks that provide a quick and strong emotional response. We click send/receive on our email just knowing someone is going to tell us something to make us feel happier. We scour our social media accounts looking for something to give us an emotional boost. We work on small tasks that give us the chance to "check off" something on our to do list. We feel safer just following the status quo. Meanwhile, the activities that aren't as quickly emotionally appealing, but critical to our long term success, wait to be accomplished.

As you move through your day, take a moment to check the feelings you are looking to fulfill before tackling that next task. It might make the difference between choosing something you could regret later (Average cost of tattoo removal is $588), or working on your highest priorities. The former may give you a temporary "ink of positive emotion" but the latter offers you personal and professional success that is carved in stone.