Those of you who have been following me for awhile probably know that I love to buy used whenever possible for a number of reasons. In a recent thrift store shopping “spree” I found a couple of Frog and Toad books. I was quite excited as they had been on my to-buy (a.k.a to-find-used) list for awhile. Little did I know that one of the stories would be just a wee bit convicting.
It was the chapter titled Tomorrow. Some of you may know it well. For those of you who don’t, allow me to summarize…
Toad is in bed when Frog comes to visit and they discuss the fact that Toad’s house is messy. Throwing the covers over his head, Toad states that he will clean it tomorrow. However, thinking about all he has to the next day makes him feel depressed. He then comes to the realization that if he does his chores right away, he won’t have to do them later. After thoroughly cleaning his house, he gets back into bed exclaiming he can now take it easy!
Reading this story showed me that I am often tempted to avoid doing things that need to be done. I may not stay in bed, but I will find other things to occupy my time in order to avoid certain decisions, tasks and projects.
I think one of the reasons I gravitate toward procrastination is because I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, especially when it comes to housework, which is why I wrote an eBook about keeping a clean enough house. (I probably need to read through it again!)
Another reason is that I’m just tired. Admittedly, some days it may be a wee bit of laziness creeping in, but for the most part it is true exhaustion. I’m sure over four years of not sleeping through the night has something to do with it, but that’s beside the point…
I have found that there are two questions that I can ask myself to combat procrastination and give me the motivation to begin (or finish) a project:
1. What can I do right now that will make my life more peaceful or joyful later? – I ask myself this when I know that I need to do something, but don’t know where to start. This question helps me evaluate my priorities and give me the motivation to begin.
2. Will doing this now rather than later give me more joy and peace? – This is the question I often ask when I am tired and just don’t want to do another thing.. Like when I am frequently tempted to skip certain tasks in my evening routine.
I think it is important for me to mention that there are instances when we truly need to rest. I don’t believe that we should continually push past exhaustion in order to get “just one more thing” done. Rest is not always idleness. These are questions to ponder when we know in our heart that we are procrastinating and avoiding something that truly needs to be done–like those dishes in the sink. 😉
What are your tips for fighting procrastination? Share in a comment!