Don’t Wait (K.Blais)

Sometimes it’s easier to put off today what you can do tomorrow, right? 

We all procrastinate to some extent. Some of us are better at procrastinating than others. I, personally, can be a self proclaimed expert at it. 

There are times when I am very good at getting ‘stuff’ done right away, and, in fact, I’ve gotten better at procrastinating less about many  things. With some fairly recent lifestyle changes, my energy levels have increased and I’ve been much more productive in many areas of my life. But… there are still moments when I can’t seem to push myself to get to doing things. (Hence the lapse of time between this blog post and my last one, right?)

I think it’s ok to take breaks and to give yourself time to tackle things. I’m a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason and that taking a reprieve from things (even when you don’t intend to) is good. When the time is right we often find ourselves getting back at “it” (whatever “it” is) with renewed vigour and enthusiam. 

We often place too many expectations on ourselves. This doesn’t help then when the world weighs us down with expectations as well. Sometimes it’s hard to force ourselves to clean out that closet or to get to the bank to pay the bills on time when the world is constantly screaming at us what we should be doing anyway. 

But we must remember this also: life is too short to put off doing the really important things. In a blink of an eye life can change completely. 

There are some things that we should never procrastinate in doing; the things that should be on everyone’s “Don’t Wait” list. 

Don’t wait 

To tell someone how much you care, whether that is to say I love you or to air out your differences. Life is too short to live with words left unsaid.

To show someone how much you care, whether that is with actions or deeds. Life is too short to live with acts left undone. 

To appreciate the little things in life, whether it is a sunrise or a sunset, a beautiful view or warm crackling fire. Life is too short to let the “busy-ness” keep us from enjoying the simple things.

To smile and laugh, whether it is at your own silliness or with great company. Life is too short to not laugh every day. 

To enjoy what you have, whether it is little or much, whether it is how you dreamed life to be or something completely different. Life is too short to always worry that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. 

Maybe instead of procrastinating it is better to do what you must today and what can wait until tomorrow should be left to wait. 

Life is too short to not enjoy each moment and to waste time beating ourselves up for procrastinating, isn’t it? 

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Pushing Past Procrastination (K.Blais)

I literally couldn’t wait for summer to arrive. By summer, I mean my summer holidays. Two long, glorious months stretched out before me – I drooled at the thought. I made lists, even tentative schedules, of the things that I wanted, and needed, to do and how I desired to spend my time, kicking it all off with a fabulous long weekend celebrating Canada Day.

After that first weekend, which was, indeed fabulous, we came back home to await the rest of the summer. ‘I need a week to catch up on sleep!’ I joked. But, in all seriousness, I did. One can only sleep for 5-6 hours a night for so long before it catches up with you! So, sleep I did. It is now the second week of my summer vacation and while I have accomplished a few things here and there (and yes, probably more than I realize), I feel that sleeping is pretty much all I’ve done!

Oh I’ve sorted through things, literally and figuratively, came to some interesting realizations, and drew some conclusions about issues in my life, but I’m actually quite disappointed that I haven’t DONE more with my time. Procrastination has reared its ever so tempting head.

(Photo courtesy of makeuseof.com)

PsychologyToday.com states that “everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions.”

‘There’s always tomorrow’. ‘There are actually nine long weeks of this summer vacation, surely I will spring into action in August when it is a bit cooler (maybe?)’. ‘It’s too hot to clean out that closet upstairs so I’ll do it later’. ‘The kids are playing nicely downstairs so I don’t want to disrupt them to clean that closet either’. And perhaps the saddest of all, ‘I don’t feel particularly inspired to write’. (Gasp! I know… it’s actually quite alarming to me too. But it’s ok… I think I’m finding my muse again.)

So while I joke about my own procrastination issues and rationales, how many of us are actually so good at procrastinating that it prevents us from accomplishing what we want in life?

‘I work better under pressure’. ‘I have until the end of the week to pay those bills’. ‘Tomorrow will be a cooler day to cut the lawn’. ‘I can go back and edit that novel anytime’.

Sure all of those things may be true, but am I really making things easier on myself by putting off doing those less than desirable tasks that need to be done?

In my own experience, this is not the case. True, sometimes I do my best work when under a deadline. I may have until the end of the week to pay the bills, but if I forget then I am left to pay late charges as well. It may be cooler to cut the lawn tomorrow, but that may also be the day that I need to post a blog, pay the bills, AND cut the lawn, so something else will have to put off for another day (perhaps, editing the novel). Procrastination can be a never-ending cycle.

Sometimes procrastination results in continuous inaction as well. If I keep telling someone that I will do something, and then I don’t ever get it done, what does that say about my character and my reliability? If I make promises, or at least make a commitment to doing something, it is only right that I do my best to complete what I have said I would do in a reasonable amount of time.

Yes, sometimes we can’t always do what we intend to, in the amount of time we, or others, would like. I’ve learned to be very careful to try not to fall into the “false promises” trap. (Please note: I am NOT claiming to be always successful at this either!) False promises are when we ‘promise’ or commit to doing something, with good intentions but also with the deep down realization that we probably won’t be able to fulfill that commitment or promise. It is better, perhaps, to claim that we would ‘like’ or ‘intend’ to do something, but it will all depend on time and other issues. I’ve realized that while I am a people pleaser (see Singing Soprano In An Alto World), I also need to do things within my own limitations. There ARE only twenty-four hours in a day, and when you have spent 10 of those sleeping each day of the last two weeks, that leaves only 14 short hours! I can’t make promises which I can’t keep and I can’t always procrastinate on the things that need to be done either.

Procrastination can look very pretty and it is enticing. It’s a lovely thought to think that I can do things ‘later’ or ‘another time’. Some days, it seems to work, and other days it doesn’t. I’ve learned that when procrastination starts to make me feel guilty and uncomfortable, that’s when it is time to stop feeling guilty and start acting on what I am supposed to do.

It’s time that I edited that novel. I know what needs to be done to make it better. It’s time that I sent my manuscript to that wonderful woman publisher who offered to read it. It’s time that I start listening to my characters and start telling their story in another novel (still not creepy, trust me). It’s time that I get out of bed in the morning and start to exercise again because that’s when my thoughts are at their freshest. It’s time to push past procrastination. There will always be another day to procrastinate. Today it’s time to start DOING.

(Dear Readers, Today is a great day to stop procrastinating and start doing! We can do it! Love, ~ K ~)