Monday, 31 August 2009
And the Lord said - Don't do today what can be put off until tomorrow!
I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something but have been putting it off for a while now.
Procrastination, don’t you just love it. It is a safe place, a place within boundaries known, it is here. However it stops us getting up there. But if we go there something awful might happen and we may even end back down there. Best to do nothing and put up with the status quo.
Today I took procrastination by the hand, well throat actually, and throttled it, I swung it around the house a little, put it down and wondered whether I was in fact doing the right thing, but then picked it up again. I killed it, and I am up there, not still here or back down there, I have moved on, successfully and positively to a better place. I have won. Savoir faire!
Now what is this life changing event I speak off, it must be mammoth, of rapturous importance, of life changing significance!
Well it’s not actually, but that is how things are in life, we procrastinate about small, little easy things, we put off, we play safe, we don’t oil the squeaky hinge, we don’t change the washer on the drippy tap, we don’t cut the grass, and we don’t upgrade our broadband.
For it is the very medium on which I traverse to you via, that I have been procrastinating over. I wanted to upgrade my broadband from 2 Meg to 10. It was a couple of quid a month extra and dead simple they told me. That was over six months ago. I’ve been paying since then of course, but it hasn’t got any faster. Why? Because they sent me a huge box which would have suited an electrician planning a maisonette rewire. This was going to be a huge, huge job, a job I would get wrong, a job which would require endless calls to India, a job which would need me to enter passwords and set up codes long lost. I couldn’t do it.
But I needed to do it. It was silly to pay for a quick service and waste the money receiving a slow one. So I added it to my list. The Bankers get a round to it list. Having been away for the last two weekends I was looking forward to a long weekend at home getting on with things. I was going to cut my grass (my most common procrastination since the gardener left), repaint the kitchen floor boards, sand down and repaint the front door door frame, fit a new bolt to the back door, get my hair cut and wire in my broadband upgrade.
The list was there, as plain and simple as daylight. There was nothing between me and completion. So on Saturday I got up late, and thought, well it’s the first day of the bankers I can take it slow today, I’ve got Sunday and Monday to chore it up. So I pottered into London’s west end and had my piece tweaked at the barbers, I then came home and enjoyed and evening of reading, laundress duties, fine dining, juices and cordials and slow speed internet communications.
On Sunday I was up with the lark, listened to Fi, Sandy and the Archers and cracked on. It’s like when you are putting off jumping into the pool, you know it is going to be cold and you teeter on the edge for ages, then you just flop in, screech and the all is fine. So I got to the front door, sanded it down, got into the car went to Wickes and got some paint, came back, painted the door frame, started to paint the kitchen floor, went back did second coat on door frame, braced myself for the coldest swimming pool ever and then dashed into the garden for a very sore back making half an hour of grass cutting – a bit like going at Rapunzel with some blunt toe nail clippers, but I got there. Later on I did more kitchen floor and then relaxed with some Colin Firth and some Malbec. I had done very well, I was very pleased, and I had beat procrastination, for that day anyway.
So today, without thinking I get all the pieces out from the various drawers and cupboards and look at the huge pile of wires, the splitter, the new connectors, the 5 set up guides etc, etc,. And then I do something I hadn’t done before. I used my highly evolved analytical skills and reviewed all the contraptions, wires and manuals. It then dawned on me, like a message from the Gods via lightening, that for my set up I required only a small fraction of the parts. I guessed which these would be, quickly assembled them, turned everything off and on again, and do you know that in less than 4 minutes I had broadband and having tested my speed it is giving me 9.6 mbps compared to the 0.96 I had before.
Now I still have the bolt to do, but I feel quite confident about that, and I have added a new item to the list – put the books in order. I didn’t have time to teach the finer points of the Dewey Decimal system to the librarian before he left, and they need to be put back in author, rather than size order.
Don’t put it off, it probably won’t be as bad as you thought, and it’ll be over quickly and then it’s done! I’m a fine one to talk!