Fellow former procrastinators, for more time and energy, we can stop making decisions. For repeating tasks, we can decide once – then make that routine or habit.
A procrastinator makes delay a habit. To put off doing something increases the mental, emotional, and time burden of the original task. Over and over the procrastinator has to decide how to handle delay. Over and over she spends emotional, mental, and time money she could’ve spent once by simply doing the thing. I know.
“Lack of routine is our biggest time waster.” I wish I’d paid more attention long ago to these wise words from my friend Ana. Now I’m on it!
Let’s add “lack of routine is our biggest energy drainer.”
Making a decision and exercising the will to act takes emotional and mental energy plus time. It is draining.
Wasting time and draining energy is true in small things like when to go to bed and in bigger things like whether to continue with my hobby or give it up. (It’s interesting that what often seems small is sometimes a big thing indeed.)
Routine enables us to do the most important things. So routine helps us use time and energy wisely. After dinner mom says, “Everybody, go brush your teeth.” If that is not the usual pattern, time and good humor are lost in discussion and resistance because something else is more desirable at the moment. But if it has been established that teeth are brushed right after dinner, there’s little or no debate or delay, the chore is done, and everybody can move into the next thing without any big deal.
Routine eliminates the big deal. (Yes, it may take a few weeks to establish the teeth brushing habit but three weeks beats a battle every night.) Routine eliminates the need to decide and to exercise the will to start from scratch – which takes extra thought, emotion, time and energy. With routine or habit, we don’t think so much, we just continue on “auto” as we have been.
One of the great things about routine or habit is the relief it brings to life.
Ask anybody who’s trying to establish an exercise habit. “Do I run now or not? Bed feels so good. Should I go? I need enough rest. Will I run? It might be too hot already. Am I going?” And on and on. Exhausting! Yet we do that anytime we do not have a routine. We can apply this to cleaning the kitchen, what to do on lunch break, walking the dog, etc.
The habit of doing what needs doing when it needs doing provides relief over and over.
The time and energy we do NOT use deciding and starting up is available for our use in other areas. We have more time and energy if we employ routine. A healthy habit provides relief.
In what area would you like relief – more time and energy?