“Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” ― Ellen DeGeneres
Or as Mark Twain commented, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” I prefer that to Pablo Picasso’s rather sombre “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”.
Do you procrastinate? No? Honestly? After many decades I have honed the art of procrastination: I curl into a ball and take a nap when I cannot face tackling the next major chore. Blame my narcolepsy – which makes taking micro naps very easy and very tempting. After all these years I still waste an inordinate about of time getting around to housework. I have tried making a timetable, allocating each day of the week to a specific chore. I have tried paying myself £10 an hour – to no avail. The only thing that works is the expected arrival of guests. It is amazing how quickly I can tidy up and put things away if I know that friends/ relatives are coming.
Another way that I procrastinate is by doing things in my head. Instead of rolling up my sleeves and making a start, I think about it . . . So every routine chore takes twice as long as it should. Then there is the “making a list” strategy. I recall at Uni, decades ago, having problems getting round to it, so I sat down and compiled a list and was horrified to find I had 48 tasks listed. I wish I had kept that list. It would make interesting reading! I do recall that the final item was “take up hems on dresses”. That was because fashion had changed and demanded shorter skirts. And, yes, I did get around to the task of shortening my skirts.
Did I procrastinate today? Well, yes and now. I arose with the lark and did my morning Tai Chi exercises but before I could start on my Pilates routine, I got side-tracked. I heard the morning newspaper arrive and I just needed to check my answers to yesterday’s Crossword. And then I made myself a cup of tea . . .Oh yes! I know exactly how to procrastinate!
Here are tips that help me to avoid procrastination:
1. Stick to a regular routine so that chores become automatic.
2. At the start of each day tackle and complete one urgent task
3.Set a timer by which time a chore must be finished
4.Give myself a reward as a treat for getting around to it
I did enjoy this article by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian – click here.
“Life’s primary challenge is to make time for the important stuff that isn’t urgent, even though it doesn’t feel pressing, while avoiding the urgent stuff that isn’t important, even though it does feel pressing.” – Oliver Burkeman.