CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG
July 10, 2012
Do you ever struggle with procrastination? Sometimes it seems I’d be willing to do anything in the world except the thing I know I should be doing. My son Lex just sent me a blog post: The one-sentence solution to almost all procrastination (no, really) that I found helpful.
The refrigerator magnet type sentence is “Don’t wait until you feel like doing something.” Before you dismiss that as too glib and simplistic to be useful, think about lying in bed in the morning and struggling to get up. We don’t arise because we don’t feel like it. We try to talk ourselves into feeling like getting up.
If we try to cut out that step and try to act regardless of how we feel, we will do better. If you’re a long time reader, you know what I believe to be the Secret of Success:
Successful People Do the Things Unsuccessful People Don’t Want to Do and Won’t Do.
So the one sentence solution to procrastination fits neatly under that philosophy. We won’t stop struggling with these issues but we can get just a little better. You will be amazed how being just a little bit better will change your life. Don’t wait till you feel motivated, just try to will yourself to act. It gets easier with practice…usually.
And remember the wise words of the French writer Nicholas Chamfort:
Swallow a toad in the morning if you want to encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.
Chamfort, by the way, knew all about pain. His botched suicide attempt is legendary. Rather than going back to prison during the crazy times of the French Revolution, he shot himself in the face with his pistol. He succeeded only in shooting off his nose and part of his jaw. Then he repeatedly stabbed his neck with a paper cutter, but failed to hit an artery. Finally, he stabbed himself in the chest. He suffered intensely for the next year, when he finally died from complications of his suicide attempt.
What can we learn from Chamfort? Don’t try to kill yourself and get started on that toad.