I was invited by Liz McNierney and had the pleasure of giving a nutrition workshop at ACE (The Association of Community Employment) on Houston St. in Soho. It is an amazing place where those that have been or are now homeless are given a second chance. The education provides the students with everything from computer skills to writing resumes. It is privately funded. The program provides them with 35 hours a week of training where they are mentally and spiritually stimulated. I was invited to fill in the nutrition gap. The interest in what I had to say was overwhelming and personally an uplifting as well as rewarding experience.
“I’ll get to it later”. “I plan on doing it in the New Year”. Sound familiar? Why do we procrastinate and is it really that bad? Let’s explore the meaning. Procrastination is the process of putting off urgent or important tasks to the last minute while instead directing our energy and time to less important, more enjoyable tasks. As a matter of fact, procrastination has become so much a part of the French culture that a National day of procrastination was proclaimed on March 26, 2011. Why is it that the French are able to joke about it and we as Americans look upon it as a problem. Those things that seem to be so pressing to us do not have as high a value as spending time developing relationships with friends and family in the French as well as several other cultures. Procrastination through vacations and days off are looked upon as periods of revitalization. In our society we are constantly checking e-mails, social media, watching videos, surfing the internet all of which have made it so easy to put off what is most important for our success. But is it possible that these means of communication can relieve us of stress and possibly make it easier to spark new ideas and therefore enable us to see what our goals really are. Some tasks may be so stressful to attempt that working under pressure is sometimes offered as an excuse for procrastination. Some feel that by placing yourself close to a deadline it encourages productive ideas. I myself find, especially in writing this newsletter, that working under pressure is a little more exciting and challenging. So instead of filling ourselves with stress, guilt and anxiety, why not start the New Year off by giving yourself a break. I mean that both mentally and physically. If you find a particular task too overwhelming and find yourself procrastinating, re-evaluate it. Maybe it is not as urgent as you think or maybe there are parts of it that can be eliminated. What I am saying is that procrastination to some might be a necessary delay for others. If you decide that procrastination is hindering you, first make sure that the feeling is coming from within and not pressure from other people. If it is truly felt, surround yourself with energetic, inspiring people, clean your workplace and just re-clarify what your goals really are. It is the beginning of a New Year. Don’t look back but look forward. Procrastination is very personal and if its works for you then there is no reason to lay unnecessary guilt upon yourself. An interesting way to begin this year is with a ”Not to do List” as opposed to a “To Do List”. And remember just doing is better than doing it perfectly.