It was the cry of the procrastinator when I gazed in dismay at my jiggly arms. “I wasn’t gonna let this happen!” But I did. Loose skin crept up on me and muscles underneath crept away.
Procrastination is like fertilizer for The Creep. You know Creep – an ever progressing situation that becomes worse over time when it is not tended to. Before you know it, “When did this happen?”
Procrastination itself creeps up on us. It creeps into cracks and crevices of our lives that we haven’t noticed. It moves in and becomes a habit, our default way of doing things – later.
Being alert is critical. Doing what needs doing when it needs doing (diligence) halts procrastination and nips Creep in the bud. Some Creep is dust on the fan blades; other Creep is debilitating. Creep leads to Overwhelm.
Cleaning out our office brings this to mind. Accumulation of stuff anywhere is an example. Sitting on the sofa last week I thought, “What happened to the neighbors’ gate? I can’t see it anymore.” We trim the hedge regularly but it needs to go down about two feet. It crept up and our trim height crept up too. I want to regain the happy view!
Other easy Creep areas include filing, piles, Magazine Mountain, bamboo in the side yard (Prepare to evacuate!), drawers that barely close, clothes like rabbits in the closet, larger food portions, a heavier foot on the gas pedal, neglected friendships.
How can we keep Creep from taking over? Bowling bumpers are a great way – some routine that reminds us to roll down the lane we ought to be in.
Forming a habit is an excellent approach. One friend told me she gets up and down off the floor every day to make sure she can continue to do that. Exercise. Read scripture, pray. Establish a set time to contact friends.
Setting physical boundaries contains Creep. Limit drawers to no more than three quarters full. We just threw out all magazines past a certain date and replaced the basket with one a third its size. I now allow myself only one small plastic bag into which I stash “put aways” that need to disappear quickly.
Designating one place for things also helps contain Creep. With all the canned tomatoes on one shelf and all the print cartridges in one bin, each is easy to find. This avoids the accumulation of duplicates and the expiration of things never used.
Using the calendar or phone notifications reminds us to take care of jobs such as changing the oil or the HVAC filter, making dental or vet appointments.
Doing the thing when you see it is another way to hold the Creep at bay. When I get out of the car at home, it’s usually easy to pull up an invading weed. Later, not so easy – and it will have comrades. So creepy.
What will you do this week to stop the Creep?