Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
It was a long day yesterday at the doctors, the results being more tests, more appointments and hopefully followed by a period of rejuvenation. Lately it seems like I don’t have the energy to do much. I try to do my prescribed workouts every day in order regain some strength in my legs but the solution probably will rest in the hands of my pain doc later this month.
I’ll tell you a secret, my procrastination really bothers me but apparently not enough for me to do what I should be doing. Fortunately I have an understanding wife who even chauffers’ me around to meals outside and to family functions. The good news is that there are a lot of skilled folks working on getting me back. I probably should warn you when I return there is no telling what I might do to make up for lost time. I expect this spring to include me springing back. Until then at least we get to share a little bit of our mornings together.
The ever wise Gretchen Rubin wrote the following some time ago, now all I need to do is heed her advice starting maybe tomorrow.
Putting Off Some Horrible Task? Try These 7 Tips.
- Do it first thing in the morning. If you’re dreading doing something, you’re going to be able to think of more creative excuses as the day goes along. One of my Twelve Commandments is “Do it now.” No delay is the best way.
- If you find yourself putting off a task that you try to do several times a week, do it every day. When I was planning my blog, I envisioned posting two or three times a week. Then a blogging friend convinced me that no, I should post every day. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, I’ve found that it’s easier to do it every day (well, except Sundays) than fewer times each week. There’s no dithering, there’s no juggling. I know I have to post, so I do. If you’re finding it hard to go for a walk four times a week, try going every day.
- Have someone keep you company. Studies show that we enjoy practically every activity more when we’re with other people. Having a friend along can be a distraction, a source of reassurance, or moral support.
- Make preparations, assemble the proper tools. Clean off your desk, get the phone number, find the file. I often find that when I’m dreading a task, it helps me to feel prepared. There’s a wonderful term that chefs use: mis-en-place, French for “everything in its place.” It describes the preparation done before starting to cook: gathering ingredients and implements, chopping, measuring, etc. Mis-en-place is preparation, but it’s also a state of mind; mis-en-place means you have everything at the ready, with no need to run out to the store or begin a frantic search for a sifter. You’re truly ready to begin to work.
- Commit. We’ve all heard the advice to write down your goals. This really works, so force yourself to do it. Usually this advice relates to long-term goals, but it works with short-term goals, too. On the top of a piece of paper, write, “By October 31, I will have _____.” This also gives you the thrill of crossing a task off your list. (See below.)
- Remind yourself that finishing a dreaded task is tremendously energizing. Studies show that hitting a goal releases chemicals in the brain that give you pleasure. If you’re feeling blue, although the last thing you feel like doing is something you don’t feel like doing, push yourself. You’ll get a big lift from it.
- Observe Power Hour. I get enormous satisfaction from my new habit of Power Hour. I came up with Power Hour because, as I was working on Better Than Before, my book about habit-formation, I wanted to create a habit of tackling dreaded tasks. But how could I form a single habit to cover a bunch of non-recurring, highly diverse tasks? I hit on an idea. Once a week, for one hour, I steadily work on these chores. An hour doesn’t sound like much time, but it’s manageable, and it’s amazing how much I can get done.
Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.
Joe, the Governor’s most trusted assistant, died in his sleep one night. The Governor had depended on Joe for advice on every subject, from pending bills to wardrobe decisions. In addition, Joe had been his closest friend.
So, it was understandable that the Governor didn’t take kindly to the droves of ambitious office seekers who wanted Joe’s job. “They don’t even have the decency to wait until the man is buried,” the Governor muttered.
At the funeral, one eager beaver made his way to the Governor’s side. “Governor,” the man said, “is there a chance that I could take Joe’s place?”
“Certainly,” the governor replied. “But you’d better hurry. I think the undertaker is almost finished.”
My psychiatrist says I’m manic-depressive ……I have mixed feelings about that.
It’s every airplane passenger’s nightmare: Getting stuck near a crying baby. I was manning the ticket counter at a busy airport when the sound of a sobbing infant filled the air. As the next passenger stepped up to the desk, he glanced up to the tot and rolled his eyes.
“Don’t worry,” I said to him cheerfully. “Chances are that baby won’t be on your flight.”
Head shaking, he grimly replied, “Oh, I bet he will. That’s my son.”
You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.
The Reverend Billy Graham tells of a time early in his career when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy for directions to the post office. After being told the way by the lad, the Reverend Graham thanked him, adding:
“If you’ll come to the Central Baptist church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to Heaven.”
“No, I don’t think I’ll be there…” the boy said. “You don’t even know your way to the post office.”
If you want to make a woman nervous, just put her in a room with a hundred hats and no mirror.
Before setting off on a business trip to Tulsa, I called the hotel to see if there was a gym. The hotel operator’s sigh had a tinge of exasperation in it. “We have over 300 guests at this facility. Does this ‘Gym’ have a last name?”
An angry Texas wife said to her husband, “You are being deliberately calm.”
Two Jewish ladies who were neighbors in New York met unexpectedly in Miami one winter.
“Why Shirley” one of them said, “I had no idea you were here”
“So listen Ruthie” said Shirley “now that we met I just must tell you, I am having an affair!”
“How wonderful” said Ruthie, “who is doing the catering?”
“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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