Dirty Word

Posted: September 3, 2012 in Busyness, Change, Decisions, Thoughts, Time, Words, Writing
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I can think of a lot of words that could be defined as “dirty”.  But none of them strike me as more “dirty” than the word “procrastination”.  Whenever I hear that word, I cringe.  Perhaps the reason I dislike this word so much is because of the negative connotations it has.  After all, who wants to be categorized as a procrastinator?  Or perhaps the reason this word is so “dirty” to me is because I often find myself falling victim to procrastination.  Whatever the reason, procrastination is a dirty word in my mind.

I have good intentions, I really do.  But what’s that saying again?  Oh, right – “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  Though I am not certain who actually coined that phrase, it truly fits.  I can have all the good intentions I want, but if I don’t take action, then what good are my good intentions?

I often find myself saying, “I’m going to start that workout plan next week.  I just need time to plan it out, so I don’t quit.”  The problem is that I put it off.  Next week comes, and I am no closer to making my plan or starting my program.  I say, “I’m going to write for at least 15 minutes every night, starting tomorrow.”   Again, tomorrow comes, and I don’t start.  I make excuses like, “I’m too tired” or “I just don’t have time right now because I have to [insert random task].”  Each time it’s the same thing.  And each time I get all upset because that of that “dirty” word – procrastination.

So, what’s the solution?  How do I change that?  I mean I obviously need to have a plan, right?  Wrong.  Sometimes, it’s not about the plan.  Sometimes, I just have to start.  I need to take one step in the right direction.  For instance, instead of saying, “I’ll start writing tomorrow”, I’ll start tonight instead.  And instead of putting off my workout until next week when I have a plan in place, I start today, even if it’s something small like taking a walk.

See, the problem isn’t so much that I put it off – it’s that I never start in the first place.  I allow other things to become more important and neglect the things I really believe are important.  So, today, I woke up with a plan.  Yes, I did say I had a plan.  My plan was that every time I said, “I’ll make a plan, so I can start that tomorrow”, I would figure out a way to start today.  And guess what!  It worked like a charm!  Let me give you a brief rundown of how this worked.

This morning, I woke up later than I had intended, which was actually ok as today was a non-work day.  Instead of saying, “Oh I woke up late, I’ll do my time with God later”, I said, “I will do this now because later might not come.”  So, I started with my time with God, and was blessed as a result.  I wanted to get a workout in, but I was bored with the ones I have been doing, so I thought it would be nice if instead of doing my normal workout, my daughters and I could walk to the store together to return some movies and pick up a couple of things.  When I mentioned it, my oldest suggested going right away.  My first inclination was to put it off.  Instead, we went right away, and it was a beautiful day out, with a warm sun and a cool breeze.

When we got home, I walked into my room, and I was immediately greeted with a mess – because, well, I’m not the neatest person in the world.  However, I have been telling myself I would clean it up soon because the clutter was really frustrating me and stunting my creativity.  So, instead of putting it off until later and messing around with my hobby, I cleaned up my desk area, arranged the “tools” of my “trade”, so to speak, and de-cluttered my work area.  The result is, a clean desk, where all my resource books and “tools” are visible and within reach, and a feeling of accomplishment.

Finally, I was going to put off writing this until tomorrow.  That wasn’t my original intention, but when it came time to write, I told myself, “I have worked hard today.  I’ve done what I was supposed to.  I can do this later.”  But, my conscience pricked me, and I realized, I wouldn’t truly be able to enjoy any down-time if I put this off because I’d feel guilty.  So, here I am, writing this, and actually finding that I am enjoying it immensely.

All this is to say, instead of putting things off until later, my new commitment is to “do it now”.  I’m going to do my best not to make excuses, and to take that step.  Today I took a few steps, and I’m so proud of myself.  If I do the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, who knows what wonderful things might happen in my life?  Who knows how many blessings I’ve missed out on because I chose to procrastinate?

Who knows what dreams you might be able to reach if you were to do the same?

Until Next Time,

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