03.25.11: Living in the Procrastination Nation.

25 March 2011

Procrastination is near-universal, and it’s an incredibly powerful force.  But wait, how can you call something that’s essentially inaction a “force?”  It’s the opposite of a force.  But that’s just how powerful it is.

Simple physics, baby.  A body in motion tends to stay in motion, a body not in motion tends to remain on its behind, thank you very much, probably eating junk food and watching too much college hoops (oh, that was a little close to home).

Think about those toys marketed to executives for their desks.  You know, the steel balls on strings in a row.  You have to pull one back and let it go in order to start something and make them all move.  You’re the one that takes the step – it’s not magic.  And when they quit going back and forth in that mesmerizing click-click-click, when the action has dissipated and worn itself out, guess what?  You start it back up again.  Click-click-click.

How can the impetus NOT to move override the impetus to move?  I wish I knew, because procrastination is why my gas tank is perpetually near the “E,” the gas bill is due in three days, there are late birthday cards sitting in my car (sorry S!), and I would go days without working out when I worked at a dang health club.  And I haven’t updated the website in 150 years.  Other than all that, I’m a totally awesome role model.

Believe me when I tell you, it’s hard for everyone to give themselves enough of a pep talk to “get up, get moving, go on, just do it, you’ll feel so much better, what are you waiting for!”  It’s easier not to change!  It’s easier to stay in that crappy job you hate than it is to shop your résumé around or go back to school.  It’s easier to stop at the drive-thru than it is to slice up vegetables for a stir-fry at home.  Cutting corners may make us more efficient – or so we think – but it doesn’t make us better, happier, and healthier.  It makes us, frankly, lazy.  And are we really more efficient?  Because the drive-thru meal has more calories and less nutrition for every dollar spent, the crappy job is turning us into mean, bitter zombie people, and television may be good, but Life is better.

We still talk ourselves out of action, though.  Maybe we insist that we’ll do it tomorrow, this project has to get done first, the house has to get vacuumed, this phone call has to be returned.  Instead, how about we talk ourselves INTO the walk, the change, the action over the inaction?  Use all that energy we spend on excuses as actual energy?  Why don’t we put our health, wellness, and well-being first?

Click-click-click, people.  You’re the only one who can pull back the string.  Make it today.  Make today Square One.

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One Response to 03.25.11: Living in the Procrastination Nation.

  1. Jenn says:

    Well said, friend. It’s so easy to hit the drive-thru, but you feel better and stay fuller longer with just a simple stir fry. And sure, I could pass up the gym and blame it on the kids, but I have more energy to play with them after a good workout. All of the things that seem to put our healthy habits off until “tomorrow” will still be there tomorrow.

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