Today we have a Thought of the Walk on procrastination.
Main topic: Thought of the Walk on Procrastination
The universe gave me a gift this week. The gift of five days. FIVE WHOLE DAYS. Yup, we were supposed to have a single digit temperature night this coming Saturday and while we are prepared for the cold, nights like that in Tennessee are quite unusual and I like to do an extra round of set up. Might drain the water from the house. Need to make sure we have enough wood for the rocket mass heater. Might also use electrical supplemental heat in the house. Quite unusual.
The holler neighbors sat and made a list. Then we did not get started right away because —- overwhelmed.
Then we did get started and everyone was a little tense.
Then, as our favorite local weather commentator, Spikey Mikey says: Butterflies farted. That is the term he uses when something happens and the weather pattern shifts to the north or south of use and causes change. The cold slap in the face moved out about five days. We sighed in relief. We now have plenty of time to be ready, to update the pump house pipes, to get wood ready for everyone, to locate, clean and set up the extra electric heaters, to make sure the animals have lots of dry, warm bedding.
And the list kept growing. And growing. And things we thought would take a little time took lots of time. And we come to Friday. The weekend is upon us. It would be so easy to just do weekend things. Catch up on housework. More work on my taxes. Put off getting ready for the cold, getting ready for the new membership portal launch, put off the crisis cold to do list. But that would be the wrong move, wouldn’t it?
Procrastination is nothing other than instant gratification. We find something to do that gives us the feeling of happiness, or accomplishment, that is not really the priority because we are looking at an overwhelming and difficult things we must do and it is so much nicer to have that feeling than to face the overwhelming task. My laundry is folder oh so nicely and put away when I am faced with a really tight deadline and a really hard task. And the food I cook – stellar all from scratch. And sometimes this causes me to miss deadlines which is much more damaging to my long term goals and psyche than just diggin in and doing the hard work.
And that is the thing: If we all just learn to do our homework on a regular basis, we can get so much further in our respective journeys than if we cave in and satisfy the siren’s call of prorastination.
Jack Spirko reminded me of an old article that I read either by or about Zig Ziglar’s methods about planning your time as if you are preparing to go on a vacation at work. (Tell the story)
Turns out that he is right – if you approach the end of your week as if you are going to be gone for the next week or so, you find that you quickly identify the truly important things and do them and it cuts all the procrastination things that get in the way.
So back to procrastination – are you falling into that trap? How is your tax preparation going? Have you taken the first step toward starting you new side hustle or growing the one you have? Are your kids in the back seat this weekend when they should be part of your focus? Are you, as I am, staring at a very unorganized junk drawer instead of sending invoices to clients?
And if so – which of these things are procrastination and which are your priority. Might be something to think about tonight after dinner, as you flow into your weekend. Maybe put thoughts or talk about things that are making you feel overwhelmed? Then ask yourself how you can eliminate the negative impact from your life by making positive steps toward handling them?
What really got me to thinking about this today are some drains and the impending cold. We have been fighting with a pretty nasty drain installation project for months and today it is beautiful. Assuming that the drains would be all laid out, I decided to take a break from shipping coffee to order a skid steer for the weekend to cover in all the ditches. The homesteading benefit of this is immense – we can move firewood with it, we can smooth places out, we can scrape sod on that new garden space. So I ordered it.
Come to find out, the ditches are still not right. Two days of hand digging are already invested in it and let me tell you, that kind of work is back breaking stuff.
So I paused for a moment, despite wanting to get this podcast out, despite needing to start the dishwasher and finish mailing the coffee and thought about the big picture. I consulted with all involved and thought, if we don’t address this now, we will procrastinate the hell out of the project until two or three more weeks from now, we will feel overwhelmed about not making progress and all the other important things that need to happen in spring will be delayed.
And while I did have an important schedule of achievements that need to happen today, including if the coffee is not out when the mailman comes, I have to drive an hour to drop off packages, I took more time to find a solution. Because while accomplishing all my other things would have felt good, procrastinating the solution to this one project had much deeper and more painful implications.
So the whole day has been rearranged. The holler neighbors have traded around some responsibilities for the day so that everything that is important is covered. And we have a solution that will dig the dang ditches, and leave us ready for that skid steer work that will boost us ahead.
We chose to look at the snarl and solve it rather than avoid it with instant gratification in the form of achieving other things instead. And this makes me even more excited about what can be done this weekend to move all our lives forward.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed – spend 30 minutes, just 30 minutes, thinking about the what and why of it, ask yourself what you would do if you had to leave town this Sunday evening, and do what you need to do to get ahead. Because addressing the procrastination trap a little at a time is what will build your habit for long term growth and success, and being h onest about what must be accomplished is how you establish a better balance as you do it.
Make it a great week!
GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. It makes a great Christmas Gift!
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