It’s Christmas Eve 2012 and many people are about to leave the house to go to the mall in order to start Christmas shopping. Why? Is it because of the sale prices? Maybe. Or is it because of something else? Most likely. Is it just a Christmas shopping thing? Nope. It applies to many things.
For example, many people wait until April 15th to file income taxes; some people wait until a health situation is critical to go to the doctor, or dentist; still others wait until the last minute to leave the house to get to work, school or day care provider (either to pick up or drop off); and many people wait to get started on a project or assignment that is due. Some people rastify (rationalize + justify = rastify) it by saying they work better under pressure even though we don’t realize that pressure (stress) takes its toll on us spiritually, mentally, and physically. Others loathe it but don’t know what to do about it.
So then, why do we wait until the last minute to get things done?
There are many reasons but for brevity sake, let’s consider two.
1.) We dread the effort it will take to get “it” done. Many things get put off until the last minute because deep down inside we know we are going to have to through something to accomplish what we have to accomplish. In other words, we know we are going to have to exert a significant amount of energy that many of us just don’t have. So, instead of digging deep and taking care of business, we wait until we know we have no other alternative. Then, as a measure of desperation, we lunge forward, full force, in order to get it done. Personally, I have accomplished some pretty impossible things this way and afterwards have reassured myself by saying, “my best work always comes at the last minute.” However, I really didn’t/don’t realize that I hadn’t experienced my best work because usually that comes as a result of careful thought, planning and time management. Certainly, I didn’t realize that the stress factor makes the experience less bearable; or more bearable with a lower quantum of stress.
2.) We have not comprehensively gained order in every area of our lives. Order provides a systematic way to get things done. But, without it, we do things in a helter skelter manner. That usually results in getting things done at the last minute because we were doing something else that needed to be done. This is very common and usually remains as our mode of operation because simply put we either don’t know how to gain order or we realize that gaining order will require some significant effort. Therefore, we dread it and as a result we keep putting it off.
However, for those who realize that it is time for a change, here are a couple of suggestions. To comprehensively gain order in every area of life we can do these things:
- List what we have going on in every area of our lives
- Determine past due obligations, current obligations, and future pursuits (in every area of life)
- Determine what’s recurring vs.what needs to be done on a one time or immediate basis
- Determine what’s essential, beneficial, or merely optional
When these steps are followed, we will gain better command over time, energy, productivity, and most importantly, peace.
If you want to learn more log onto http://the777plan.com
Clarence J. Parks, JD, MDiv