“Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today!”?

Procrastination
Is it cliché to say “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today!”?  I guess it might not be since it seems most people (self included) do not adhere to this age old adage anyway.  Therefore not being cliché since it is not a part of Pop Culture.
This is an important lesson I am learning.  Doing what you can do now is an important part of time management. Doing what you can do today, knowing that you could possibly, maybe have time to do it in the future, is a time saver. And saving time now is like having money in the bank or in this case time in the bank which can be used for some other important task.  Recently, I had come to this very juncture.  Having to respond in a short period of time to deploy an application to thousands of workstations.  The deployment would run over multiple weeks and required 8 or 9 critical checkpoints over a 3 week period. I decided to do as much work up front as I could including pre-writing emails with deployment status updates and scheduling them on my calendar. I spent 2 hours and saved myself an unknown amount of time and the heartache of not forgetting to carry out those checkpoints by memory. It is too easy to forget 8-9 checkpoints that are critical to the success of the deployment. If you do forget and when you remember you will probably act out in haste and make another mistake that could cost you dearly.

I read a funny quote on procrastination from one of those Despair Inc. Demotivation posters.  It read “PROCRASTINATION – Hard Work Often Pays Off After Time, But Laziness Always Pays Off Now.”  Funny but true! For most of us Procrastination is a way of life, a tool for time management. “Don’t worry, I’m on it. I will get to it later”.  Translation: I really don’t know how to start because I can’t see what the end goal is or what I am really supposed to do otherwise I would have started it by now.

So…the next time you want to ignore the age old adage of “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today!” Take control of yourself and start.  Yes, just start. I think most of us are worried about failure. We think we have to get it right the first time.  And we percieve most people actually succeed on their first try.  Not true, most people do not succeed on the first try and actually fail and succeed all at the same time. Sometimes we must first fail before we can succeed.  Baby’s dont just start walking without first falling…right? It took Thomas Edison how many tries to invent the light bulb?  It took Edison around 1,000 failures or as he puts it 1,000 steps to success to invent the light bulb. I think we just need to get through the bad ideas in order to get to the good ideas.  Those good ideas are in there somewhere and we just need to unclog the log jam of ideas to let the good ones out!  And then you are on your way to getting done what needs to get done, banking time in the future and hopefully living a less stressful life.

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