How to Have the BEST Day EVER!

The time is NOW! The present moment is here. What more are you waiting for?

I have to confess, I am a chronic early bird. I want to get that proverbial worm. I like to be early for everything. When I teach, I start my classes on time, down to the second! My students eventually learn this, and those who care get there early, but often half my class will walk in late. Those are probably the procrastinators.

My husband is chronically on time, on the dot. If you tell him 9:25 then he will be looking at his watch (phone, whatever) at 9:24 and tapping his foot impatiently. So we get along great. Hosts and hostesses LOVE us because we always appear at the front door while they are still cleaning the house, wearing curlers, and getting dressed for the party. If you tell us 6 o'clock, that is exactly when you are going to see us. On your doorstep. And we will be hungry, folks. Ready to chow down.

So why do some of you procrastinate? Why put off the inevitable? You know you are going to have to write that paper, or unclog that toilet, or cook dinner, or get in the car and drive to your fitness class, and yet you put it off till the last possible second. And then you have to rush, speed, do a less than admirable job, miss the warm up, forget your water bottle (this happened to me recently when I procrastinated before a morning class) and generally have an unpleasant experience. Is that really what you want? Do you enjoy stress?

No. Nobody enjoys stress. But some seem to be addicted to it. Or to the sense of urgency when they need to hurry hurry rush rush rush. It's a rush. A jolt of adrenaline, literally, rushes through the blood stream while you are rushing to your appointment, or your job, or your class. Does this make you feel more alive? Like your life is more intense? More exciting? And therefore better? I don't know about you, but for me, this kind of stress feels terrible. Out of control. And I like to feel on top of everything.

But beyond personality types, excess stress can wreak havoc on the health of the body and mind. Chronic tension is a major source of pain. Stress can literally be a pain in the neck, or back, or head. Stress hormones can create inflammation in the body and ultimately affect our ability to fight off diseases by lowering our resistance and damaging the immune system. And much of this stress and suffering could be avoided.

Imagine now what your day would look like if you cut out all the procrastination. If you got out of bed the first time your alarm went off instead of hitting snooze. How many extra minutes would that give you to get ready? (You're welcome.) If you skipped Facebook, how many more minutes would that add? (Okay, now we're discussing MY addiction...) The first step is to become aware of all the moments in a typical day when you put things off. Keep in mind that you will end up with plenty of time for relaxing--even MORE time than before--but the relaxation comes AFTER the accomplishments, instead of before. And how relaxing can it be to hit snooze a dozen times? You cannot be getting any quality sleep during those minutes (hours?) between the buzzing, so wouldn't it make more sense to just get up? Imagine how it would feel to walk into class prepared instead of frazzled. To arrive at work with time to spare. To be able to pack a healthy lunch instead of always grabbing junk food because it's quick and convenient. To feel proud of all your accomplishments instead of worried about how many things you forgot to do.

If you are a procrastinator, you might want to start by choosing just one area of your life or one time of the day when you will give up your addiction to putting things off. If the morning alarm feels too difficult to start with, choose another habit. Then notice how you feel when you don't have to rush. Notice the quality of your work when it isn't last minute. Enjoy the rest and relaxation you have earned at the end of the day, when everything on your list has been checked off.

Let me know, in the comments below, if you make any progress with kicking your procrastination habit. If you discover any tips along the way, please share. Good luck!