Procrastination is like doing the dishes. The longer you take to wash the dishes, the harder it is to get the food off?
Most of us at one time or another have procrastinated. And like washing the dishes, the more we procrastinate on things, the more the sink fills, the larger the pile, the greater the stress and the harder it takes to tackle all the work.
Take a look at your in-basket. Is it full? Are there items that have been there for too long? Have you put some piles aside to get to later and later never comes? Does the pile keep getting bigger and bigger?
Time management consultants will tell you the best system of handling your in-basket is to only touch things once. They will tell you there are only 1 of 3 ways everything should be handled.
1.) Act on it immediately.
2.) Put in a file to be read later. (plan on reading this pile daily)
3.) Throw it in the garbage.
I guess you could handle your inbox in your email, in the same way. A study done by Queen’s University in Canada, a few years back discovered that the average business executive spends one day a week (8 hours) handling emails and mail in their in-basket, most of which is non-actionable. That’s 20% of your time in a week, and it may be even worse thanks to today's Blackberry and iPhones.
And procrastination only makes matters worse. I am finding that people are taking much longer to get back to me, or to make decisions, or to move some of their projects forward. They tell me they are so swamped, there are not enough hours, they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the pendulum of balance has shifted so far to work, that entertaining personal hobbies or quality family time is just out of the question. And they seem to be so buried in paper, systems, procedures, and detail that does little to make a significant contribution.
PLUS - Procrastination can keep us from our greatness. As the saying goes – and I don’t know who to attribute the credit to it, “Boldness has genius power and magic in it.” We all have gifts to share in this world. We all have something to contribute. We often are holding back the success of something that could make a difference in our lives, in other people’s lives and even our world, but we are reluctant for a myriad of reasons, and so we procrastinate, even to the point that the “window of opportunity” closes, or someone else finally does it. We are reluctant to follow our intuition. We are afraid of being bold and taking action. I love one of Albert Einstein’s quotes – and it seems even more relevant today than when he wrote it many years ago.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift
and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors
the servant and has forgotten the gift.
— Albert Einstein
So the next time you are thinking of procrastinating on something, remember there is a good reason to wash the dishes immediately.
Have a great, stress-releasing, mind changing, transformational day.
And before I forget, I usually like to end with a video of some sort. Here is an amazing 3 minutes by the BBC that makes you realize how incredible our universe is and the wonder and miraculous joy there is everywhere. As usual, sit back, turn on your speakers and enjoy.