The More You Do – The Better You Feel

How To Learn to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life

Chapter One

clean and organize my apartment. Anticipating abundant time and energy to mount an all-out assault on untidiness, I began formulating my strategy:

  • Day One: Remove everything from the smaller closet, throw out what I don’t want or need any longer, mop it down to remove the dust, stick a fan in there to air it out, go out for pizza, then return to put what’s left back in, and enjoy the extra space!
  • Day Two: Tear apart the larger closet, do the same as day one, get pizza from a different place and make mental notes on who made better pizza while basking in the glow of another clean closet!
  • Day Three, etc.: More elaborate plans involving cleaning and pizza!

Need I tell you what I accomplished during that vacation? I’ll give you one guess… are you ready? Absolutely nothing!

So what did I do with my precious time off? Well, an awful lot of it was consumed by watching television, and by counting the days I had left in my vacation. Not surprisingly, I returned to work feeling tired and emotionally bogged down by this defeat at my own hands.

Today, not only do I find myself amazed by what I put myself through, but I’ve also been surprised and humbled by many individuals who have related similar tales. Habitual procrastinators often have difficulty in managing our free time, and when we do a poor job of it, we tend to suffer emotionally. Conversely, we often flourish when we’re placed under rigid conditions, like final deadlines, which helps explain why some of us do well in the workplace while we do poorly at home.

Complex Conundrums

If you began a weight-lifting program and continued your new regimen over time, would you be surprised if you noticed increased muscle mass and strength? Of course you wouldn’t. This is merely a common example of the positive relationship that exists between exercise and fitness. In much the same way that exercise strengthens muscles, every time we delay taking action, we are simultaneously developing a mental muscle of sorts, we could think of it as our “procrastination muscle.”