“While we are postponing, life speeds by.” – Lucius Seneca (3BC – 65AD)
We all do this at one time or another, don’t we? It takes more time to do it later than it does to do it now, yet we still let our lazy asses win out and put off what we can and should do today until tomorrow . . . and the next day . . . and the next day.
I struggle with this. I struggle with procrastination in all aspects of my life from work and relationships to exercise and housecleaning and everything else. I’m convinced if I can just get past my procrastination, become a person who ALWAYS consistently does it now, that everything in my life will shift and I’ll become that person I want to be. Every time I say I’ll do it later or I’ll do it tomorrow, I drift further away from my goals in life.
I’m not unaware of the situation, and yes, I have made strides in recent years. I have done well for months on end in some aspects. But I always fall off the wagon, or I let some areas suffer while I focus on others.
The damage of putting something off was never more apparent than last week. After a slew of really great days of walking, writing, getting caught up on all the household chores, I felt great! My self-esteem was high, I wasn’t stressed, I felt really good about everything. This, despite the fact my computer blew up and I fell behind in work. Things were on track, couldn’t have been going better. Fast forward to yesterday, when I found myself looking around my kitchen and wondering what happened? Every dish, plate, glass, mug, utensil and pot is dirty. All of it! I stood there scratching my head and wondering how this could have happened, and so quickly! I mean wasn’t it just yesterday that I decided I was too sleepy to do the dishes and I went to bed instead? Oh wait, no, I was out all day Monday and didn’t get home until after 1am. When was that anyway?
One day last week I decided not to do the dishes for whatever reason. There weren’t that many, just me, just one day . . . and within a couple of days my kitchen went to hell. For the first time ever, yesterday the connection between that one tiny piece of procrastination and the fall out was crystal clear to me. I could see it in a straight line. I went from here to there. And I did it very quickly.
That’s just one example. There are tons of others. Every aspect of my life that ends up in a big mess can be traced back to one minor incident where I put something off. Like last week, even though, I was up early enjoying the sunshine, even though I was aware rain and thundershowers were in the forecast, I decided to take my walk in the evening instead of going in the morning. And when evening came there was lightning, and I won’t walk in lightning. I can do rain, but lightning is a whole other matter. And by the time the skies cleared it was dark and I don’t like walking after dark. So, I didn’t go for a walk that day. And I didn’t go the next. Or the next. And by the end of the weekend my house was full of empty KFC containers. A straight line from me saying “I’ll do that tonight” to me chowing down on greasy chicken and feeling like a big old fat failure while I was doing it.
We lie to ourselves. Or I do anyway. I told myself these little things didn’t matter, every passing moment is another chance to turn it all around. But I wasn’t seeing the connection between my actions and the results, or I was lying to myself about the connection. And this week it’s all really clear. I mean it might seem kind of idiotic that I hadn’t understood if I didn’t do the dishes, they wouldn’t get done. But it’s more than that, I can remember the precise decision that knocked me off track. I thought I could say no to dishes that one day and still be okay. It’s like being an alcoholic and thinking you can take that one drink. Or being a smoker and thinking you can have that one cigarette. I’m a procrastinator and I can’t put off one single thing or I put off everything. I see that now, and it’s different than I’ve ever seen it before.
So today, I’m taking a sec to do everything. Every single thing. I’m not saying no to anything that needs doing. I’m not putting anything off. I’m doing it all. And for today that’s a big challenge, because there is so much, but tomorrow it’ll get easier, and the next day easier still and so on and so forth. I just have to remember that I’m an addict. I’m addicted to putting things off, and I can’t do it even one time or I’ll end up with dishes piled to the ceiling and KFC containers lying all around.
“The greatest potential for controlling the ends is to exist at the point where action takes place.” -Louis A Allen
Drinking: coffee, black
Listening To: wind chimes, and my computer growling
Hair: long, loose, in my eyes