As a former procrastinator, I often “hear” something my mother used to say to me. My mom would observe my roundabout way of approaching a chore or see me do something that would cause me to do more work later. She’d say, “You’re making work for yourself.” I can’t recall what I did that prompted the comment, but I’m glad her words stick in my mind.
Now I often catch myself when I’m about to create a complication that will demand more time and attention from me later than if I act right now. It’s another application of Proverbs 15:19. “The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.” ESV
I can cause briars to spring up in my path right away or to show up later. Either way they’re a pain. I have plenty of work to do without making more for myself.
God graciously prompts me to notice, choose wisely, and experience the thrill of realizing I just made a smooth path for myself. Nice!
Responsibilities cannot always be streamlined, but often they can be. If I do what needs doing when it needs doing, I eliminate future work. We might think a chore is inconvenient at the moment. However, the extra work usually shows up at a much less convenient time later. (Think lots of pick up when the doorbell rings!)
Here are a few simple examples:
Dropping my jacket on a chair instead of hanging it in the closet.
Leaving dirty dishes on the table instead of washing them or putting them in soak.
Piling clean laundry to wrinkle in a heap so I have to search for an item or iron what would’ve been fine had I hung it up.
Setting tax papers, receipts, or maintenance info on the counter instead of filing them in their assigned places.
Waiting to pull new weeds in the yard instead of digging them out before they grow strong.
Allowing trash to remain in the car instead of removing it when I get out.
Delaying the dry cleaning instead of taking it now so I will have the dress when I need it.
Jotting a random grocery list instead of using the general layout of the store.
Driving randomly instead of consolidating errands and planning the route.
Doing something myself quickly instead of taking the time to teach my child how to do it.
What can you do at the moment that will avoid increased work for yourself later?