“How beautiful it is to do nothing,
and then to rest afterward.”
~ Spanish Proverb
I’ve been meaning to write this article for a long time but I kept putting it off. If you didn’t laugh just then, you’re reading this way too early in the day! Seriously though, are you acquainted with a pesky little thing called procrastination?
No matter what stage of life we are in or what we do for a living, there are always things we like to do and things we don’t like to do so much; things that need to be done. Today with Facebook and Twitter and Email as close as our cell phone or iPod and with messaging and texting just as close, opportunities for procrastinating abound. We’re focused on our goals, we’ve written them on our bathroom mirrors but we are too easily distracted from the work involved in achieving them.
I’ve found a method of dealing with procrastination in my life in the way I approach my schedule. When I have many things on my list and among them are things I don’t enjoy, I do the worst things first. Ian Newby-Clark outlines the concept of doing the “worst things first” in this article. It’s a way to delay gratification, something I learned from one of my favourite authors, M Scott Peck MD.
In his book, The Road Less Travelled Peck identifies “delaying gratification” as a characteristic of an emotionally mature person. As children we eat the frosting first and then the cake; as adults we [should have learned to] eat the cake first and save the frosting-part to enjoy last. We make the choice to get the less pleasant work out of the way first to make way for the things we like to do.
It does beg the question, however; isn’t it fun to eat the frosting first some time? Procrastinating wouldn’t be such a temptation if it weren’t fun. What do you think? Is there some value in procrastinating or none at all? Do you procrastinate?
photo credit: Ed Yourden