Procrastination is Opportunity’s Assassin
The Third happiness Habit – Do It Completely
Finish sweeping the floor, slowly, before you fold the laundry.
Fold the laundry, carefully, before you return the client’s phone call.
Hang up the phone, mindfully, before you start to write the rough draft.
As I write my daily blog post, talk with a mortgage banking customer or work on a chapter for my next book, Summer, I almost always encounter resistance. Whether the task in front of me takes 3 minutes or 3 hours, at some point, I always want to stop in the middle.
It’s tricky. This tendency to stop in the middle is a master of disguise, Just now, wrting this post, it showed up as doing this right now is totally irresponsible! You have far more important things to do!.You were supposed to write that blog for the Huffington Post, and also, you should call that mortgage banking client back NOW and by the way, did you really skip breakfast? You know what that does to your already ADHD addled brain?Stop, eat, relax! Shouldn’t you call your son at college? What if someone just stops by today? You didn’t even put the dishes in the dishwasher. And oh my gosh, you need to get your hair cut! Look at your nails! Do you have the right shoes for the wedding Saturday?”
Luckily, just now I was able to silence my inner procrastinator by remembering one of my favorite quotes.
“Procrastination makes easy things hard,
and hard things harder-“
And I also muttered this mantra at least ten times.
“Don’t stop in the middle. Don’t stop in the middle.
DONT STOP IN THE MIDDLE!-“
Finally, I was able to breathe, re-focus and finish.
I’m pretty sure that my tendency to procrastinate is rooted in the usual problems, shame, and shame’s twin evil sister, perfectionism.
I feel embarrassed or ashamed that I didn’t get it all done, AGAIN, and then I insist that until it is all done, perfectly, I can’t finish writing this blog, one of my favorite activities. It seems that my tendency to stop in the middle is bigger whenever I am engaging in an activity that moves me closer to my dream. I have a lifelong fear of exposure, a rather inconvenient problem for someone who wants to be a famous author.
So for now, the only way I know to do one thing at a time, do it slowly and do it completely, is to practice, practice, practice, and practice. For today, I will start again. Just finished the rougt draft of this blog, only stopping in the middle once. Progress, not perfection, is always my goal.
Here are the three zen happiness habits that we’ve reviewed so far:
Do It Completely.
I am failing at this nearly constantly as it is very new behavior for me, but I can remember Pablo Picasso, who knew a thing or two about completing unfamiliar tasks.
I am always doing that which I cannot do,
in order that I may learn how to do it.
Good luck. Honestly, if I can do this for more than one minute, anybody and I mean anybody can practice doing one thing at a time, slowly and completely.
Fingers crossed. Moving forward, to housecleaning, slowly and completely. Yikes.