Everyone I meet these days seems to have one predominant thing going on. They’re busy. Busy with this, busy with that; it’s almost as if there isn’t an end. It is extraordinary the amount of things we need to do these days! “I need to get Grandma a birthday card,” “I’m dreading that phone call with my client,” or “Targets been calling my name: paper towels, toothpaste, baby food…” and I can’t help but think about my own mental task list each time I talk to someone who is telling me about their own. I find myself beginning to get bogged down by their list.
Why is that?
Let us explore some of the thoughts behind why your mental task list keeps pausing on the very thing you’ve been procrastinating on. We’ll use the above mentioned Target trip as our example. You may be dreading driving to Target because it is all the way across town, because it adds another 30 minutes to your day when you have already worked, and picked up the kids, and are thinking about dinner, and all you want to do is get home so you can relax. So then you procrastinate and you feel stress, maybe even anxiety. In that split moment when you need to decide what way your going to drive your vehicle (one way heads towards home, and the other towards Target), you turn your car towards the place that always calls your name. Home. Where you feel peace. And so the cycle of procrastination continues. It’s what I call the proverbial speed bump.
Drivers Education taught us that we needed to slow down, we aught to ease the car over the bump after having reduced our speed significantly in the approach. When you don’t, your car jostles you with all sorts of forces as you careen down the street. I don’t know about you, but I for one always feel a bit shaken after I’ve failed to slow down at the speed bump as much as I should have.
Shifting gears, for some reason or another, we humans procrastinate. There are all sorts of reasons why, none of which matters in the context of what we are discussing here. Procrastination is the speed bump to our mental task list. It makes us feel that there is no way to get through the end of the never-ending list, because there is always that one thing you are dreading doing.
Back to the speed bump. Ask yourself; do you dread slowing down for speed bumps? Ever? Honestly? I’d bet if you dug deep enough, you’d admit to yourself that you do. Why is that? It’s because you have to slow your momentum.
When we slow our momentum, we feel fatigued, and sometimes tend to just give up. We may rationale in our mind as to why this particular task can wait one more day. Distraction over here, distraction over there. And then we avoid, and procrastinate some more. As we do this, we spend a lot of energy in our thoughts, and they all slowly build up for what is really only one little bump.
I’m going to tell you about a life lesson that can be applied all over the place. There are necessary evils in life. There are things that are just generally accepted among us that cause us to pause. But they just need to get done. For example, the long line at the Walgreens pharmacy. We can complain loudly and look furiously for the manager to complain, but that doesn’t get us what we need any faster. When our turn finally arrives, and we’ve got our bag in tow, it feels so freeing to flee the patience we just had to endure. And we speed up, and move about our day. Necessary evil.
So all of this leads up to one thing. The speed bump. The easiest way to create the most momentum at the beginning of our day is to tackle the speed bump. Do what you’ve been dreading as quickly as possible, and cross that bridge to freedom. Do not spend any more time and energy thinking about ways to continue to avoid it. It’s a necessary evil, a widely accepted part of life. If you tackle your speed bump with patience and steadfastness, you sail through the rest of the road. You free up your pathway to the rest of the road of life.
Alton originates from Hopewell, a small town in Central Virginia. Throughout his life he faced numerous obstacles and challenges; however, he has developed the principle that he is bigger and better than his environment.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and started a number of organizations while attending Old Dominion University and was recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Alton was a successful engineer in Corporate America with Northrop Grumman and United Parcel Services (UPS), before transitioning to become a full time professional speaker and entrepreneur. He obtained his Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Regent University. While attending Regent University, he completed his courses to become a certified Life and Success Coach through Transformational Leadership Coaching.
For more about Alton, visit his website @ www.altonjamison.com.