I really hate making the bed.
I know it’s such a small and trivial thing, but it’s one of my least favorite things in the world to do. And yet it’s something that has to be done every single day.
So, like other things that people don’t like to do, I often put it off. I’ll do everything else first and save it for last. Or avoid doing it altogether.
But what’s the result of this behavior?
I’m thinking about it. I’m dwelling on it. I’m dreading it. It’s hanging over my head and distracting me as I go about doing other things. And until it’s done I can’t move on with my day, because I know that the only thing worse than having to MAKE the bed is coming home to the sloppy mess of an unmade bed.
So what’s the solution?
Make the bed immediately! Right away. Now. As soon as possible. To start on it before my feet even hit the floor. Before I even have a chance to think about it! And before I know it, the bed is made. So now I can move on to more important things.
So what does this have to do with . . . well . . . anything?
As you look at your growing to do list, ask yourself this question:
What are the “unmade beds” in your life?
What are the things on your to-do list that are hanging over your head, the things that are always on your mind? The things you have to do, need to do, or dread doing. The things that you have been putting off for whatever reason? The things that should be done? The things that if you did them would affect other things? The things that would make a difference? The things that are keeping you from doing the things that really matter?
Why do we delay?
It could be because of busyness (or bus-i-ness), distraction, fear, lack of knowledge, lack of skill, lack of understanding, lack of motivation, or any other number of other reasons people procrastinate, including the universal excuse: lack of time.
But we all have the same 24 hours a day, the same 525,600 minutes that everyone else has. Why are some people able to do more with them than others? Is it discipline? Determination? Willpower? The ability to focus? The ability to prioritize? The ability to eliminate distractions? The ability to just Get Things Done? There are a million possible reasons and excuses. But the bottom line is this:
No one wants to HEAR excuses . . . they just want to SEE results.
Look at your list of New Year’s resolutions from the start of this year or some other to do list. I’ll be there are items on that list you haven’t even gotten started on yet. The key is to narrow down and prioritize your resolutions, and focus. Too often we make too many commitments. Set too many lofty, ambitious goals. And what happens? We end up getting none of them done. As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Simplify, simplify.”
I was supposed to write my first book over the past year, but it simply didn’t happen. I have a ton of ideas in my head, and pages and pages of notes in my notebook—and the very best of intentions. But sometimes life just gets in the way of our best-laid plans.
So after I’m done with this blog post, I hereby resolve to finally get working on my book . . . starting . . . right . . . NOW!
But before I do, I better go make the bed.