Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” How well do you manage deadlines? Are you someone who works well in advance and ensures you have completed tasks in plenty of time? Or are you a ‘leave it to the last minute’ person?
I confess that I am more like the second description than the first. I am someone who will have good intentions of finishing at a specified time, but will always manage to push it to the limit of the deadline. I am aware that this tendency of mine can drive other, more timeline-focussed individuals crazy and I try hard to accommodate them, but find it terribly difficult.
In my efforts to fit into other’s time constraints I will find myself being distracted by many, many things. If I am at home and having to achieve a task I will find that an amazing amount of housework gets accomplished – and not just your regular, everyday things like dishes and vacuuming – but cleaning the oven door, wiping down the fridge shelves, sorting through the pantry and wiping the top side of the ceiling fan blades. If I have a job to complete I manage to find a multitude of other things to do!
Why do I do it? Why do I put off what I know I will inevitably have to do? Firstly, it is my personality type. Secondly, often doing a different, less brain-power required task frees up the creative juices I need to work on the time sensitive work. Thirdly, I seem to work better under pressure. Fourthly, I am often fearful I don’t have what it takes to complete the job. (I am queen of focussing on perceived obstacles and making them bigger than they actually are.) Lastly, I don’t really want to do the particular task.
It is this last reason that is the biggest problem. Putting things off to try and avoid the inevitable never works well. I will often discover when I actually sit down and do the task I was avoiding it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was anticipating. Even the Bible tells me: “Don’t procrastinate – there’s no time to lose.” (Proverbs 6:4 from the Message paraphrase). There are times when unavoidable interruptions occur but that is different to actually seeking them out.
I have been challenged as I write this thought to try and do better this coming week in making the deadlines for the tasks that are set. Now to arrange for this post to be uploaded …