Tina and Lauren, former college roommates, got caught up by phone one Friday night.
Before hanging up, Tina asked, “Have any wild plans for the weekend?”
“Laundry,” Lauren answered.
Tina listened and waited for the punchline.
“And…?” she asked expectantly.
“No,” Lauren responded with a little embarrassment. “No and. Just laundry. I haven’t done it for several weeks.”
Most people have a task or two that they don’t enjoy. So instead of practicing Grandma’s Law which states Eat your liver before your ice cream, they put off completing the task, perhaps hoping it will go away. But in reality, a task avoided is a task multiplied.
Avoid doing your laundry. Not only are the clothes you didn’t fold and put away now wrinkled (re-work), but now it’s going to take you an entire weekend to get caught up.
Skip a week of mowing your lawn. Not only is the grass longer, forcing you to go slowly, but you may find that you have to go over the same spot several times to mulch the grass clippings.
Put off doing your taxes to the last minute. Not only do you run the risk of filing late and accruing a penalty (trust me on this one), but you also end up stressing yourself out each time you remember that you still HAVE NOT DONE your taxes.
You don’t have to be brilliant to get the point. We often avoid unpleasant tasks. The size of unpleasantness is often in direct correlation to the length of our procrastination.
Try this. Think through all of the tasks on your TO DO list for the day, week, month, whatever. Which task is the most unpleasant for you? Now ask yourself this: “Will I get a ton of relief when this bad boy is done?” If the answer is yes, change your priorities by moving this one to the top of your list. And do it! The energy and freedom you will receive from completing the nastiest task on your list will propel you to more easily complete the less unpleasant tasks in front of you.
Stop stalling. Get on it.