I read a quote the other day and as I go about my routine it keeps coming to mind. It was a quote by Joyce Meyer, a Christian author and speaker. I had only lackadaisically agreed with her post on Facebook and continued on my way. The quote stated, "Procrastination is a thief. It steals our time, our potential, our self-esteem, our peace of mind." I knew procrastination stole my time, but this was an exhortation that I needed to hear. A reminder of what it really misappropriates.
It takes a lot from my life. Sure, there are times that I forgo what I should do for something better, but often it is a justifiable reason. Leaving the messy fridge to play with my daughter. Delaying cleaning the kitchen until after she goes to sleep. But other times I tarry when it is clear I shouldn't. Things get deferred so long that they just don't happen. The skipped workout. The meal that seems to be incomplete. The purchase that is no longer available. Procrastination is a thief.
It steals our time. My schedule is always busy. Each day requires choosing moment to moment what I will do and what I'll let go. I could rush from dawn until dusk and still not complete every possibility. I have heard people say they get bored. I am not familiar with this sentiment. I have books sitting on the shelf patiently waiting for their turn. I have craft ideas wondering if they will ever get to shine. I have organization to do. A fridge to clean. More, more, more. And I am completely aware that each time I procrastinate it takes from something else that could be getting done.
It steals our potential. If I took time to do things I would obviously discover what I can actually accomplish. I want to paint. It has been so long. But only with time will I discover what my hands can create. I procrastinate with my eyes. I let them longingly gaze over creations and never give my hands an opportunity to fabricate something new for my eyes to enjoy. I know from experience that ability increases with practice. I feel more comfortable cooking than I used to feel. I enjoy writing more. All by getting experience. Practice is curtailed with procrastination.
It steals our self esteem. I think procrastination is perpetuated by our self esteem and our fears. Have you ever been anxious about doing something and used other things to distract you from stepping out, only to find that when you finally got to the task it was not as difficult or scary as you had anticipated? I don't know about you, but I have experienced this numerous times. Dreading a phone call that turned out alright. Going over a conversation repeatedly and finally having it for real and it goes no where that all the extensive ruminating had anticipated it might. Then I cut my time shirt and lower my productivity which depresses my self esteem. Unfortunately, the halting increases my fears and makes me feel smaller as my view of the issue aggrandizes. They say time heals all wounds, but in this case it deepens the trauma. And takes our confidence with it.
It steals our peace of mind. I think I can wholeheartedly agree with that comment. I worry about not getting things done. Losing myself in something else may momentarily be a release but it only exacerbates the issue. If I could get more done I would be more at ease.
This thief has stolen enough from me. But truthfully, I have willingly handed over way too much of my time and my potential. Procrastination only takes what we will give it. I need to remind myself to be more diligent with how I choose to spend the hours, minutes, and seconds appropriated to me.
A little less day dreaming, a little more action.