With the approach of the year’s end and a new one beginning, many of us frantically compile lists of things to finish up or initiate. Mine include holiday gift-buying, card-sending, planning a family dinner, household chores to complete before the arrival of guests, places to go and people to meet, not to mention activities related to writing and marketing. It’s enough to make me long to immediately take a nap. Or, if I actually try to accomplish everything, by Christmas Eve at 2 a.m., I’m cranky, exhausted, and depleted of cheer.
However, a secret has been revealed to me, through my own neglect. If you wait long enough, many of those little notes to yourself are out of date and you can throw them away! This won’t work with responsibilities like filing your taxes, although you can even delay on that particular task from year to year. This is known as “procrastination.”
This certainly alleviates some of the stress we place on ourselves to achieve each and every item on our to-do lists. Example: I’ve had a stack of bricks in my backyard for about a year, pried out by a landscaper from where they’d slowly been inundated by mud. On my list went “move bricks” for quite some time. Never to be accomplished. Until my grandkids wanted some chores for which they could earn money. Presto! They did the work, and I crossed it off the list.
Another advantage: you’re able to ponder an action from multiple perspectives, gain the advice of others, maybe even outlast a trend. When I had a house I wanted to refinance, I delayed and delayed. Over the years, the interest rate plunged steadily downward to my benefit.
In terms of social interactions, I recently postponed for weeks contacting some friends I hadn’t see in a while. Finally, they reached out to me with invitations to their homes. What a great way to keep in touch without having to put forth effort or adding another bunch of chores to be completed.
Physical chores are especially suitable for procrastination, since I don’t enjoy doing them. Perhaps you, like me, have put off making a bed. By night time, it’s no longer needed. Ditto swiping out kitchen cupboards with any sort of regularity
This holiday season, try a little procrastination yourself. You may find you’re happier, and so are the folks around you.