Ray's musings and humor

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.

William James



I was with one of my college student grandsons today and I admitted that I was a compulsive avoider; I think the technical term is procrastinator. Yep, it seems like I live at the deadlines and do so for no good reason. Even minor tasks seem to want to linger so they can keep me from reaping the rewards of efficient accomplishment. My recent life style changes seem to have helped me get a better focus and have kept me from getting too bogged down in the trivial. If you ever have had the same problem you might have experienced the bi-polar aspects of quickly moving from dread to euphoric accomplishment. I have probably shared all this with you before but it hit home when my grandson described what he planned to do tomorrow without yet having defined what tomorrow he was talking about. When I got home I remembered that I had something written sometime ago by spiritual life coach Shelia Skarp that might help us all. Here is what she wrote.

A Simple Way to Stop Procrastination Today

All of us are guilty of procrastinating at some point or another. We put off unpleasant tasks for as long as we possibly can simply because our mind tells us we don’t want to do them. Try this experiment to see what kinds of tricks your mind is capable of playing on you.

Say to yourself,

"I have to rake the yard."

"I have to get the laundry done."

"I must clean the floors."

"I need to get that presentation done for work."

How are you feeling right now? Are you feeling overwhelmed and like you are all of a sudden carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Are you suddenly "too tired" to do any of these things?

Now say this to yourself,

"I want to rake the yard."

"I would love to get the laundry done."

"I’ll feel so much better once the floors are cleaned."

"I’m excited to get that presentation done for work."

Do you notice the difference in how you feel? Don’t all of these tasks seem very doable and easy now? Of course they do! The Ego is all about self-gratification and doing what feels good. If you allow yourself to think that something is hard or complicated, the Ego is very happy to provide you with a hundred reasons why it would be too hard for you to accomplish, so why bother trying? But if you tell yourself that you want something done and put a positive spin on it, the Ego doesn’t have the opportunity to make excuses.

If simply changing the way you phrase your task list isn’t providing enough oomph to get you off the couch, you can expand your inner dialogue. In the past, your Ego has given you many excuses to procrastinate. Now, let it give you reasons to act!

Here is a simple template you can use for your internal conversation with your ego.

"I want to _______________________ because:

1. ______________________________

2. ______________________________

3. ______________________________

When I am done with this, I will reward myself by ______________________."

Let’s use the above example of raking the yard to see how this will work. "I want to rake the yard because it is covered with leaves. Getting those leaves cleaned up will allow the grass to grow and green up faster, and the yard will look a lot nicer. I will also get some nice exercise and will get to spend some time outside soaking up the sun and fresh air. When I am done with this, I will reward myself by relaxing with my favorite book for an hour or two."

How does that feel for you? Instead of giving yourself excuses to not do something, you have given yourself reasons to do it! Not only that, but you have promised your Ego the reward that he/she loves to have.

The more you work with the template, the easier it will be to stop procrastinating and start acting. Soon, this internal conversation will be routine for you and procrastination will become a thing of the past.

So now I want to complete today’s Daily so that I don’t feel guilty sending something from the past. When I am done I’ll reward myself with a piece of fruit and that magazine I have been trying to get to. See you tomorrow.


The two rules of procrastination:

1) Do it today.  2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow.


More signs that you have grown up:

MTV News is no longer your primary source for information.

You go to the drugstore for Ibuprofen and antacids, not condoms and pregnancy test kits.

A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer ‘pretty good stuff.’

You actually eat breakfast foods at breakfast time.

Grocery lists are longer than macaroni & cheese, diet Pepsi & Ho-Ho’s.

I just can’t drink the "way I used to" replaces "I’m never going to drink that much again."

Over 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

You don’t drink at home to save money before going to a bar.


The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.


One evening a preschooler, Kristel, and her parents were sitting on the couch chatting. Kristel asked, " Daddy, you’re the boss of the house, right?"  Her father proudly replied, "Yes, I am the boss of the house."

But Kristel added "Cause Mommy put you in charge, huh Daddy?"


I am a nutritional overachiever.




Here lies my wife,

I bid her goodbye.

She rests in peace

and now so do I.


Here lies Henry Blake

He stepped on the gas

Instead of the brake.


I am having an out of money experience.

"Oh, No!"  he gasped as he surveyed the disaster before him. Never in his 40 years of life had he seen anything like it.  How anyone could have survived he did not know.  He could only hope that somewhere amid the overwhelming destruction he would find his 16-year-old son.

Only the slim hope of finding Danny kept him from turning and fleeing the scene.  He took a deep breath and proceeded.  Walking was virtually impossible with so many things strewn across his path.  He moved ahead slowly.

"Danny!  Danny!"  he whispered to himself.  He tripped and almost fell several times.  He heard someone, or something, move.  At least he thought he did.  Perhaps, he was just hoping he did. He shook his head and felt his gut tighten.  He couldn’t understand how this could have happened.

There was some light but not enough to see very much. Something cold and wet brushed against his hand.  He jerked it away. In desperation, he took another step then cried out, "Danny!"

From a nearby pile of unidentified material, he heard his son. "Yes, Dad," he said, in a voice so weak he could hardly hear.

"It’s time to get up and get ready for school," the man sighed, "and, for heaven’s sake, clean up this room."


"To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing."

Eva Young


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

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