"Procrastination is the thief of time" ~Charles Dickens
It's sad to admit this, but once (many years ago)...I had a favorite pair of pants. You know the kind I'm talking about. They were chinos, with a lot of pockets and they fit me perfectly. They were the kind of pants you reached for all the time -- like a second skin. Well, one time the button fell off, and although it was annoying, I didn't sew it back on. I would still wear the pants, sometimes resorting to a safety pin, or not using anything to keep them closed. I would wear baggier shirts to wear on the outside, but on the inside, I felt a bit like a pauper. Anything to prevent people from seeing this gap at my belly, like my old Italian Uncle who would unbutton his pants to let the belly hang out -- It was as though I'd eaten too much lasagna and couldn't close my pants!
Soon, it became a "thing." It was always in the back of my mind; not wanting to appear as a wayward child, I would always think of a way to hide the gap.
Then, one day it occurred to me: this was a big energy drain for me. It was a small thing (in the scheme of life's big things); yet it was managing to carve out a deep well where some really negative self images and self loathing would hide.
It was more than procrastination; it was more than not wanting to take the time out to sew a silly button. It was a representation to me of how I was wired. Sure, if a friend came over and said "Gee, Cath - I have lost the button on my pants, can you help?" I would be there in a heartbeat. I would drag out my sewing kit (which I've had since my junior high Home EC days), and sew it on pronto. It would have taken me all of 5 minutes.
Look deeper for a moment at the energy drain of your undone chores. This is more about not caring for ourselves in a very basic way. In a weird way, it's a form of self- abuse. Putting ourselves last on the never ending list of things that need to get done doesn't serve anyone. In terms of energy, the undone chore sits there and unconsciously sucks life force from us.
When we focus on these tasks one at a time; we help to clear the "clutter" in our brains and help to make room for more of the good stuff to flow to us!
Take a moment and thing for a minute about your undone chores. That file drawer that spills papers every time you open it, that stack of mail that you need to go through, the clothing that topples when you open your closet, even the phone call that you've been putting off -- you get the idea. What is that one thing that is wiggling in the back of your mind, that every time you think of it, you quickly say, "I'll get to that ....later...?"
Try this simple technique:
On Sunday evening, write out three things that you need to take care of during the week. These are the little things that you have been putting off, things that need to get done no matter what. These three things are in addition to your usual To-Do list; like clearing out one drawer, or cleaning off the dining room table, or sitting down to get that letter or email written. After you write the list, dedicate ten minutes per day to focus on one task at a time. For those ten minutes, all of your energy is put toward doing that task.
I would love to hear from you about how you manage those pesky undone chores! Leave your comments below!
In GRATITUDE~ cathie
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Thanks, Lucy! Yes, we all love to procrastinate- but once we work through, we feel sooooo good!
This story is near and dear to my heart. Yes, we all love to procrastinate and put off as much as possible. Of course, this storyt teaches us to be persistent with what we need to do now and feel good after its accomplished.
Thank you for your comments, Maria! I think we can all relate to feeling stuck. The best thing to get un-stuck is
to take action!!
I love this story. We can all relate to it -sew buttons. Yes, the list thing work well. I like scratching off something that I have accomplished. Although lately, I have not done so. As of right now, I am going to make my list and continue as you have addressed in your article.
Keep reminding us to get back on track.