- Mental Health
A Few Words About Procrastination
A Few Words About Procrastination
I find the topic of procrastination to be so important I suspect I will write several hubs about it.
This will be Hub #1.
In his book, THE SECRET OF THE AGES, Robert Collier shares an account of how the great conqueror, Napoleon, ended his dreams of a world empire.
He could not make up his mind about his strategy. He wavered for weeks between retreat and advance.
Collier added that fate gave Napoleon every chance first. The winters were a full month late in coming.
Then winter set in. Napoleon was defeated.
All because of procrastination.
Out of all the pages I read in this excellent book, I have never forgotten the author's words, "Napoleon hesitated."
This past summer my husband and I had our living room remodeled. Since our china closet was big, fragile and in the way, the workers slid it into our bedroom. Because of its weight, I had emptied it out and placed all the dishes into plastic bins in the garage. As a result, the car, which I mostly drive (my husband has a truck), sat in our driveway throughout the summer and fall.
With the soon approach of winter I needed to put the car back into the garage.
The bins filled with dishes from the china closet were in the way. In the meantime the empty china closet had been returned to our remodeled room.
The whole month of November had been unseasonably sunny, with record temperatures in the 50's and 60's. During this time I had several opportunities to wash the dishes and return them to the china closet. However, I kept saying, "I will try to do it tomorrow."
Suddenly, out of the blue, the words, "Napoleon hesitated" entered my mind. Winter was near! I did not want the car in the driveway when snow arrived. Winters in Upstate New York often leave crusted snow and ice on the windshield. Since I loathe unnecessary wasted time brushing and scraping off the snow there simply was no excuse for me to put off washing those dishes and getting the bins out of the garage.
By the end of November the temperature had already dropped into the low 40's. Snow was forecast for the following week.
I did not want to be like Napoleon!
It occurred to me it did not matter what routine duties I had to do. They would have to wait. I washed all the dishes, and I returned them to the empty china closet. I removed the empty bins from the garage, and I put them downstairs to fill with Christmas gifts.
I drove the car into the garage!
The following night, snow arrived.
I often wonder why I tend to put things off for so long? Perhaps it's because I allow my daily tasks to get in the way, and I keep waiting until I have a bigger block of time to perform a larger task. However, waiting is actually procrastinating, and that block of time never seems to come. I have to MAKE TIME to do what needs to be done. Now.
Also, I have found that once a project is done, I discover I completed the job in much less time than I thought I would. The end result is a sense of peace and accomplishment.
It's amazing how two words, "Napoleon hesitated," have been such a motivator for me.
Coincidentally, the same day I got the dishes out of the garage, I was reading the newspaper. I always check my horoscope for fun. Here is what it read:
"There are things you've always wanted to do but never acted on. There will be a perfect moment to make your move. It's yours for the seizing, but DON'T HESITATE OR YOU'LL MISS IT."
Coincidence or not, I know I must not procrastinate. Napoleon did, and his dreams of a world empire were ended.
Blessings to all, Sincerely, Sparklea*
*PS: Hub #2 on this vital topic to appear in the near future*