“I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”

 ~ Oscar Wilde

Have you ever put something off for a later day? Postponed something until “the time is right”? Dare we say – procrastinated?

There are a million reasons why one might choose to wait until a later date to accomplish one thing or another, but the big ones boil down to just a few. Let’s start with avoidance. If it’s something that’s no fun, then stalling makes the present moment far more pleasant.

Except for the fact that the longer you stall, the more the pressure builds up. You can hope that whatever it is might simply go away, but try as you might, it probably won’t. It’s going to rattle around in the back of your mind until you finally bite the bullet and deal with it.

Or maybe that thing you’re putting off is too daunting. A challenging task that you’re just not sure if you’re ready for. Maybe the stakes are too high, you don’t feel prepared, the learning curve is too steep. You’re not sure if you’re up for the practice that “makes perfect.”

Boredom is another one. If something seems like it’s going to be tedious then who’s got the time to waste on something like that? Except it’s probably something that simply has to get done, so that time is going to have to get spent sooner or later.

Deadlines have a particular energy about them. Especially if meeting it involves flexing your creativity. There’s a peculiar paradox for some folks where waiting until the absolute last-minute drop-dead moment brings out their very best work. Counting on this, however, is a recipe for disaster. You might succeed at pulling the rabbit out of your hat once in a while, but when you don’t you’ll be left holding the bag, egg on your face.

The advice that one commonly hears when perusing self-help literature or in consulting with a coach is that if the task in question looks like it can be done in 5 minutes or less, then by golly, JUST DO IT! It’s no wonder a popular athletic shoe company adopted this phrase as their motto.

Why am I waxing poetic about such an untimely topic today? Well, I’m enjoying a quiet afternoon with an icepack on my jaw as I’ve just had the pleasure of having a wisdom tooth removed. Wisdom tooth? Yes, wisdom tooth. Something I’ve been putting off for well nigh 40 years.

You see, when I completed my long and grueling four-year course of orthodontia towards the end of high school, it was recommended that I have all four of them yanked at once and be done with it. But it wasn’t urgent, they weren’t causing any real problems at the time, and there was always the chance that they would come in and be fine.

So the years went by, the teeth stayed in, and at one point about 20 years ago one of the lower ones was impacted and had to come out. That left the one above with nothing to bite against which wasn’t a problem, (at the time). Meanwhile, the two on the other side came in fine and have co-existed happily ever after.

Well, that tooth on top with nothing to match below slowly but surely began to grow sideways until recently it began to chomp on the inside of my cheek. Enough with the gory details, suffice it to say that I’m now on the other side of my extraction and am looking forward to eating with ease again soon.

The molar of the story is never put off until tomorrow what you can take care of today!

Much love and have a great week, see you next Monday!

M+

Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

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