It’s a shame that procrastination is so much easier than action.
Imagine how much you could achieve in life if instead of thinking about it, meaning to do it one day, or planning to get around to it in the very near future, you actually … just … DID it?
With that in mind, my friends in Discovery group and I recently decided to complete some of those nagging little jobs we’d been putting off for ages and report back on our achievements.
I found it so empowering that I’ve decided to keep it going and set aside the first week of every month to …
#82 Just DO it!
— even if it’s no more than completing one small job each day.
Apparently this rewards us in several ways. According to psychologists, tasks we haven’t done distract us, but the mere act of making a plan to get them done frees us from this anxiety.
Completing them then gives us small bursts of dopamine, generating feelings of satisfaction and happiness. Bigger tasks can be broken down into so called Micro-tasks and as each one is finalised, it spurs us on to continue.
During our Discovery experiment, one of our members finally compiled an album of photos using Snapfish that she’s been meaning to do—since her 2014 trip to Italy. Now, she’s enthused about doing all the other albums waiting.
Another friend has a neat-as-a-pin office at home which, from the pictures she showed us, looks nothing like it used to look, whilst a third friend weeded her husband’s overgrown vegetable bed AND planted tomatoes for him!
My first task was ludicrously easy. I was given a lovely cushion at Christmas, but its stuffing had started to bulge a little at the back the more I used it:
Ten months it’s taken me to sew two simple strips of velcro on the back to bring this together:
Buoyed by this quick and easy success, I sorted through my earrings to locate the ones needing minor repairs:
All it took was one drop of Superglue© to the backs of each detached piece:
Two pairs of earrings as good as new.
Not everything works to plan. One of our members was determined to bake a light, fluffy sponge which she’d never managed to achieve before. Although we didn’t get to taste the result, the report she presented on the day, reminiscent of a Maggie Beer presentation, would easily score 10 in any cooking show. It was replete with photographs of the recipes she’d consulted, pictures of all the ingredients used, shots of each painstaking moment of adding, folding, beating. It even included images of the sponge through the glass doors of the oven. Masterful!
She was disappointed that the end result was more like a dense cake than the light and fluffy concoction she’d been aiming for, but the most teethgrinding moment for her was when her husband—who’d never baked a thing in his entire life—tasted it and suggested perhaps she should have separated the yolks and the whites.*
It’s true that each completed task encourages you to do more.
I came across a letter in an old storage box a few months ago that had been sent to me in 1985 by someone who was beginning to think at the time that I may have been the one for him.
He’d been hang-gliding for a week up Newcastle way, and the letter was full of the exhilaration of his exploits and a humorous tale of how he’d landed —unexpectedly—almost on top of a young women lying on the beach.
Well, Reader, he married her!
So I felt this letter belonged in his family archives, rather than mine, and after a Google search for his work address, (I’d not seen or heard from him in 34 years) I returned the keepsake, with slight trepidation.
He responded very quickly, saying he was thrilled to receive it, planned to show his children the story of the exact moment he met their mother, and finished the letter with an invitation to meet for coffee in a few weeks as he was returning to the district for a weekend …
Now in the grip of reconnecting with times past, I decided it was time to dig out the 8mm films my grandfather had taken of the family back in 1962. Walking past the local camera store these past umpteen years, I’d seen their signs saying they could convert old 8mm film to a DVD, and had always thought, ‘One day, I must …’.
That day had arrived. In next to no time, I was watching, in all its flickering glory, my parents as gorgeous young thirty-somethings on the terrace at home with my older sister and me.
Misty-eyed viewing, if truth be told
There’s a lot to be said for Just doing it.
- * Separating eggs won’t make a sponge lighter. It’s all about beating lots of air into the mixture and having sufficient raising agents!