I learned a valuable lesson about procrastination this week. Here’s my story.
There has been a broken venetian blind in our office for about five years. I could make it go up and down but I could not open it no matter how many times I turned the plastic rod.
I told myself a story about it. The cost would be too much. We would have to replace the whole set up blinds because we could never match the color of this one.
Every day when I went into the office and opened the other blinds I would feel the frustration I had with the broken one.
The story would be told one more time to whoever would listen and my mood would become as dark as the room the blind was in.
You can see little progress in this story.
I hadn’t learned anything. The blind did not work and I was not happy.
What stopped me from getting it fixed?
What had me procrastinate was the story I told myself and all the elements that went into the story that supported my position that is would be impossible to fix.
Increasing pain about the blind, even if minor in relation to other life issues, just gets in the way of what life is really about.
How often do we procrastinate because we have a story about the issue?
Then I stopped one day. I think it is because of the daily meditation practice I have been engaged in.
I have learned to stop and look and listen to what I am saying to myself.
I had foolishly put aside my happiness in return for a daily dose of story telling.
When I stopped, I chose to take action. I called the repair shop and got a quote. This confirmed my opinion about getting it fixed because they said it could cost one hundred dollars and take seven to ten days to fix it.
I stopped again.
I have learned that when I am agitated inside I need to slow down and take a breath.
I took the blind into the shop.
The lady was very helpful and asked if I could wait ten minutes. No problem. I said.
She came back with the fixed blind and charged me twenty-five bucks!
OK so what is the lesson here?
Procrastination does not solve or make the problem any smaller.
Procrastination causes us pain.
Face the problem you have in a mindful way and be prepared for whatever the outcome is to be.
It is better this way.
No matter how scared you are. No matter how big the problem looks just face it.
This is who you are.