Could’a, Should’a, Would’a, Made That Call Yesterday by David Dunworth

Image Credit: New York Times
David Dunworth

Don’t you just hate it when you finally get around to that person you meant to connect with about your opportunity, only to find out they went with someone else a week prior? Yep, it’s a pisser.

“I was going to delay my assignment, but I put it off for a while.” Whaaa??? Sometimes the cheap excuses we use make no sense.

Look, we all procrastinate, it’s a natural fact. Maybe not purposefully, but we do. Distractions, emergencies (or perceived emergencies), crucial, critical, or any other adjective is a lie. The library of words that can be used to make us feel better and believe Not Doing what we should Be Doing is procrastination, pure, and simple.

Granted, sometimes we actually do need to postpone some things, but most times, it’s nothing more than an excuse to act on a task, duty, or whatever.

The artist from invisiblebread.com got it right on the head: excuses overrule logic and common sense.  It’s truly how unbelievable some excuses can be. I remember way back in the 1980’s I was running a dining club in Chicago when I received a phone call from an employee. She very sadly said that she had moved over the weekend and did not know how to get to work. Now, under the normal helter-skelter of getting the club staffed each morning, I would not have given a thought to a response, but on that particular morning, I got hit by a lightning bolt of genius.

“Can you find your way back to your old house” I inquired. “Well, yes, I do,” said she. “In that case, go back to your old house, and then come to work,” was my response.

What does this old story have to do with procrastination? Not much on the surface. I like to tell this story when the topic of human nature comes up. I also think that it does touch on procrastination a bit, considering the employee was reluctant to come to work and found a rather stupid response to get out of working that day. More than likely, she wanted to quit but couldn’t bring herself to the realization that she’d have to address it. Eventually, she’d either decide to show up at work or quit without ever stepping foot inside her place of employment again. She never appeared.

Putting things off is a rather common malady for the uninspired, demotivated, tired, lazy, or lost. Lost in the way that those affected don’t know if what they’re doing is right for them.

The network marketing industry with its rah, rah, rah, books on tape, motivational seminars and conferences, team meetings, and the like can be great or horrible.

I remember my first venture into Amway (yes, I tried it twice). I not only owned a storage trunk full of tapes and books. I was “garage qualified” both times. I guess I’m a slow learner because I fell for it more than once.

Because I was rather young in the MLM world, I relied on leadership to keep me pumped up, pushing me to reach out to people, hold meetings, and so on. I’d get fired up for a week or two and then would fall into a lapse. I didn’t work the plan, attend, or set meetings; I procrastinated. What I learned was that I had to be self-motivated, not rely on outside forces to stay on the plan to reach the goals I aspired to.

The advice I can give to anyone that is feeling like they aren’t pushing for the goals they’ve set for themselves is to plan the work and work the plan. Leave the excuses (yes, all those thoughts of doing it tomorrow are excuses) under the bed, in a box, tied by a cord, nailed to the floor. They are useless and will do you absolutely no good.

The other piece of advice is to get out of what you are doing if you don’t love it.

Find new leadership that teaches commitment, leads by example, and works with you through conflict, both external and internal. You’ll be better off for it.

Cheers!

David Dunworth
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