Why not do it later?
- Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2014 - 12:00am

“Sir Francis, do you have any seminars, talks, or lectures on procrastination?”

Someone in my Facebook account asked me the above question. And you know what? I was so tempted to reply, “Of course I have! But its formation will have to wait.”

Procrastination is something many people struggle with. It is defined as putting off something you have to do.

Procrastination is when you casually delay chores, thinking that there is ample time to do it, or do it only when you ‘feel like it’ or even ‘compelled to do it.’

I have this great material here titled ‘But First Syndrome’ penned by an anonymous author.

This describes perfectly how procrastination works.


“I decide to do the laundry, start down the hall and notice the newspaper on the table. Okay, I’m going to do the laundry...BUT FIRST I’m going to read the newspaper.


After that, I notice the mail on the table.


OK, I’ll just put the newspaper in the recycle stack....BUT FIRST, I’ll look through the pile of mail and see if there are any bills to be paid. Yes.

Now, where is the checkbook? Oops...there’s the empty glass from yesterday on the coffee table. I’m going to look for that checkbook...BUT FIRST, I need to put the glass in the sink.


I head for the kitchen, look out the window, and notice my poor flowers need a drink of water. I put the glass in the sink and there’s the remote for the TV on the kitchen counter. What’s it doing here?


I’ll just put it away....BUT FIRST, I need to water those plants. I head for the door and...Aaaagh!  I stepped on the cat! Oh yeah, the cat needs to be fed. Okay, I’ll put the remote away and water the plants....BUT FIRST, I need to feed the cat.


END OF DAY: Laundry is not done, newspapers are still on the floor, glass is still in the sink,  bills are not paid, checkbook is still lost, and the cat ate the remote control...And, when I try to  figure out how come nothing got done today, I’m baffled because...I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY.


I realize this condition is serious...I’ve got to get help.


BUT FIRST...I think I’ll check my e-mail...


We all struggle in this area.


I have this column to maintain. I have my daily radio program to record. I need to post thoughts and tweets in my digital space. I continuously fight the temptation to just ‘rest for a while and do it later.’


The law of physics operates in this area as well. Many years ago, Isaac Newton taught us that objects in motion tend to stay in motion and objects at rest tend to stay at rest.


The idea is to set something in motion. Start typing. Start recording. Start working. The start sets the motion and motion leads to more motion.


One thing that has helped me from procrastinating is neither an activity nor a lecture, but a philosophy.

And this philosophy has helped me through these years.


The last three-letter word with an exclamation point is fitting and creates the impact I need.

Behind this philosophy is a future-based thinking.

Human beings avoid pain and seek pleasure. In procrastination, one experiences the pleasure first before the pain. But the more disciplined person understands that facing the pain first and getting it done can enhance the moment of pleasure after.


George H. Lorimer says, “Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.”


Don’t put off the need to save money today and grow it tomorrow. Do it now.


Don’t wait for the day when you feel like exercising. Start immediately.


Don’t delay learning. Make time for reading or attending discussions to learn more things.


Don’t delay the trip to the doctor your spouse has been nagging you about. Go and schedule it.


If you have to do it anyway, why not do it right away!


(Mark your calendars. Spend two inspiring days with Francis Kong learning leadership and life skills as he present Level Up Leadership on September 23-24 at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. For further inquiries contact Inspire at 09158055910 or call 632-6310912 for details.)




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