I tend to think of procrastination as putting off things that I want to avoid, but it seems like more and more people I know are constantly postponing doing the things they’d actually love to do. In this day and age, some of us are so busy with work that enjoying ourselves has become a big challenge. Sounds crazy, but we tend to put off simple pleasures that really could happen now.
My high school cross-country coach used to drill an expression into our heads during practice: “If not now, when?” and I’d like you to think about the saying.
The Importance of Seizing the Moment
His idea was to (hopefully) inspire all of us to work our hardest because you never know what the future has in store for you. It’s actually an alien concept for most teenagers, who tend to think they’re invincible because they’re young. They can’t really grasp the fact that doing things while you still can is a good idea but now, twenty years later, I’ve finally come to understand why my coach always used to say it. At some point, we will run out of tomorrows.
A lot of married couples who want children make the decision to postpone having a family until they’re earning more money or until they own a bigger home. The grim reality is that a better job or a bigger house may never arrive, and neither will the family that you always wanted.
Some people promise each other that they’ll take that vacation they’re been dreaming of next summer instead of this summer, but in truth you could be in a bad car accident and wind up unable to walk, let alone able to go sailing around the Bahamas.
Life is What Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans
It’s almost funny, really, but when there’s no official deadline for doing something, it’s easy to keep putting it off.
I could offer tons of other examples. You might get gift cards for Christmas or birthdays but leave them sitting in your wallet, unused. You could have a good bottle of wine in the cellar but keep holding on to it for a special occasion instead of drinking it. A lot of people even buy expensive outfits or pieces of jewelry but never wear it, for fear of something happening to it.
Most of you know that I’m a huge advocate of making plans and setting goals, but you need to realize that even as you plan for the future you’re still living your life. As you dream about things you want to do one day down the road, you could be doing some of them right now in the present! Why aren’t you? To quote the late great John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
It’s sometimes a bit of a challenge, but I try to remind myself “If not now, when?” in regards to all aspects of my life—work, travels, relationships, exercise, you name it. It’s all too easy to postpone and procrastinate, but most of the time I regret not doing something; I usually don’t regret doing it.
Seize the Moment…Right Now!
I don’t sit around wishing to do things in the future—I do them.
I want to urge you to seize the moment with me. Stop dreaming and start doing! If you keep putting things off until tomorrow, until next week, until next year—you will run out of tomorrows at some point. If you get things done now, I think you’ll have a lot of awesome experiences under your belt and a happier outlook on life in general.
Oh and by the way, be sure to tackle those tasks you don’t want to do, too. If you keep putting them off, they’ll only seem longer and harder when you’re finally forced to take care of them!Take Action. Get Results.