The More You Do – The Better You Feel

How To Learn to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life

Chapter One

Science Experiments in the Kitchen

Some readers might find this next procrastination example to be a bit hideous while others will hardly bat an eyelash and say, “Yeah. Been there—done that.” During one of my lowest points I stopped dealing with one of life’s necessities, the dishes. My kitchen sink was completely filled up with dirty dishes, used knives, forks, spoons, cereal bowls, coffee cups, pots, pans, and plastic food containers. Shortly thereafter the drain became clogged and stagnant water began accumulating in the sink.

It was the weekend, and I got by on fast food while putting off the task of dealing with the dirty dishes. Soon the unpleasant aroma of rotting food and foul water began to make its presence felt whenever I neared the sink, especially after mold had begun growing inside some of the containers. When I came home from work that Monday evening, I faced something that had the look and smell of a science experiment growing in my kitchen sink.

Annoyed at the mess, I reacted by doing the only thing a skilled and practiced procrastinator could do. I put my coat back on and went out into the brisk and chilly November evening to a twenty-four-hour convenience store to purchase a supply of paper plates, plastic utensils, and Styrofoam cups.

Looking back on it now, it’s difficult to decide what was the oddest aspect of that situation. Was it my refusal to deal with the dishes at the start, or how I had allowed the sink to get into that condition? Or, perhaps worst of all, why did going out to buy those disposable items seem like the perfectly logical action to take? After all, which would have taken the greatest amount of energy: cleaning the dishes, or going out into the cold night air to go shopping for plastic ware and paper plates after coming home from a long day at work?

What’s funny about this situation is that by avoiding the problem in that way, I delayed having dinner far longer than if I had just stayed home, cleaned one pot, began cooking, and then cleaned the rest. However, at that particular moment, my actions actually did make sense to me because not only did I not want to deal with the dishes—I also felt “I just couldn’t.”

In reality, I could have washed the dishes, however, by habitually procrastinating, I had convinced myself that I really was incapable of cleaning the dishes at that particular time, and probably as much in the