A coach; teacher; guru; or the proverbial wise man sitting on a mountain top… when teaching us something… can provide us a clear picture to help answer our question, because they have already experienced what it is you are asking about.
All of the “success” books talk about taming our ability to put off today, what needs to be done today, until tomorrow, because we feel it’s ok to just leave it, we say, “I’ll just do it later.”
The problem with… “I’ll just do it later.” It sounds an awful lot like… “FREE BEER TOMORROW”
And we all know where that gets us.
Almost all of the books I have read leave my literal mind looking for more than just a philosophical approach to topics such as PROCRASTINATION.
Don’t get me wrong… I love a good analogy… or a philosophical discussion that causes me to re-think my current way of thinking about a certain thought.
But after reading the whole book, or 3, on a topic, I still come away with this question… “But what does that look like?”
My experience as an adult, helping others, has shown me that more people than just me… would appreciate a clearer picture sometimes.
I’ve been in enough training scenarios at work; coaching clinics on the mound; and have heard enough discussions happening in the hallway… to know that people don’t always speak up when they don’t understand something.
They would rather remain quietly ignorant, instead of asking a public question… where “it seems” that everybody else understands what is going on… that might make them feel stupid amongst the group.
I noticed this behavior all the way back into elementary school, 6th grade to be precise, so to have some fun I would always raise my hand and ask a question, sometimes an obvious question, and it was soon after that… that at least one person would say to me later… “I didn’t understand that either.”
After I got some years on me, as a young adult, I would ask those questions because I really didn’t understand, but still knowing some others may not also, so I still would ask… but as an adult I started to run into those adults who would get pissed that I was… “Asking all those questions.”
Then I would get my all time favorite comment from some of those “frustrated ones”.
“You should just know that.”
I’d look em’ dead in the eye and politely say, “How the hell am I suppose to know something I never heard about before!
Today let’s talk about PROCRASTINATION.
“Young man… what are you waiting for?”
First question… Did you know sometimes procrastination is exactly what is needed?
Think about: The very first time you jumped off of the high dive diving board at the city pool, with everyone watching you. You put that off all day.
Second question… Did you know sometimes procrastination can help to reveal that you may be experiencing crippling anxiety in your life?
Think about: You get your day job “done”… but there are three things on your “to-do list” that just keep getting pushed to later in the week. If it’s Thursday, take a look at what those three things are. They are telling you where you are the weakest in your current job. They cause you anxiety because you think you don’t have the time; resources; or mental strength to tackle those issues. So you use our very comfortable tool… PROCRASTINATION… to push those issues to the spot called “out-of-sight-out-of-mind”.
Like all of those other “success” books… I have to be a little vague here… I don’t know “what exactly” your three things are… but I know you have them.
How do I know that… because I have them too.
And… you… and I… are not that different.
The pictures I used today are all mine. They are part of my “garage to shop” project.
You think you can procrastinate? Pffft! Rookie.
The main project in the pictures is the red, 2 gallon carpet extractor. I purchased it in 2008, to be used at my then shop on main street called Centerfield Auto. I detailed customer cars and cars I purchased for resale.
I used the extractor up to 2011… when I had to close up shop. Sad times.
But I kept it around… having 5 kids there is always a carpet that needs to be cleaned.
But, as far as I can figure [remember I’m bad at math] 2013 was the last time I used it. And then, I procrastinated putting it away, left it out in the non-insulated-garage, with a little water left in it… and lo and behold… it broke… imagine that.
So I got right on it; dismantled it; found the problem; tried finding the replacement part; then…
there it sat.
Right where I left it.
I had to laugh… as I removed the accumulated layers of the last eight years… I found it… “Ha! Right where I left it, parts and all!”
Did I hop right on and finish fixing it?
I tackled the most important thing first. See that little, yellow, rear brake spring on the bench? I needed that to fix my garage door. That missing garage door spring has only been missing for about 15 years. Fixed now though.
Then did I fix the carpet extractor?
Heck no! I had to place those new boot laces into my shoe shine kit. It’s in the house. In my office. And I have to go through the kitchen… might as well top off the coffee cup.
The piece of belt sander sand paper?
I have no idea what project I was doing with that… so I put it back into the “new” storage container, properly labeled(now)… and took a sip of coffee.
The tiny stainless steel screw… that goes to a light pole; that goes on the boat; but that particular light pole was broken and not repairable… saved it because sometimes you need a tiny little stainless screw… maybe needing it on the next boat project.
It was placed into the “new” “organizer” for hardware… you know… just in case.
And all those “other containers”?
Those all, at one point, held something else, like… nuts; bolts; screws; paint brushes; nails; washers; but all of those things are now “organized” and put in there proper place.
Sip of coffee. Kinda cold. Better go warm it up.
“Ok, now let’s get this thing put together.”
Sip of coffee.
“Cool! Heating element works; vacuum works; crap! No water.”
Test Test Test
Research part cost Research part cost Research part cost Research part cost Research part cost
Sip of coffee.
“Alrighty then. That’s ordered. Still on the bench. Right where I left it last time!”
We all PROCRASTINATE. We all have those issues that we do not want to tackle. We all have the ability to stop and think about “Why do I do that?” “What am I afraid of?” “What is stopping me?”
Ask PROCRASTINATION… it will show you… literally… very clearly… what it is you need to work on.
Remember how you felt after you jumped off of that diving board the first time?
Did you procrastinate anymore after that? Or was it just fun after that?
As we grow; and learn; we can recognize the feeling we get when we are about to PROCRASTINATE… and try to dodge what it is we need to do… TODAY… and knowing that feeling… we can now say, “Thank you, Mr. Procrastination, for pointing that out to me.”
Yes, Mr Procrastination has pointed out all the “tapeball bats” in the corner… but there’s this other little thing called NOSTALGIA… that, we will have to deal with… tomorrow!
TODAY… we need to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE!