2017 Grateful 7

On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to wait, and waiting – died! So said William A. Lawrence, and in fairness, the man has a point.

Procrastination. It’s a slow killer. It robs us of our time, screws with our dreams, and turns life into as series of tomorrows. Although scoring off the scale in Belbin’s team scoreboard as a completer-finisher, I still need to cross that initial hurdle and start.

Most effectively used at the end of tasks to polish and scrutinise the work for errors, subjecting it to the highest standards of quality control.
Strengths: Painstaking, conscientious, anxious. Searches out errors. Polishes and perfects.
Allowable weaknesses: Can be inclined to worry unduly, and reluctant to delegate.
Don’t be surprised to find that: They could be accused of taking their perfectionism to extremes.
I’ve given a number of workshops lately and if I believed in conspiracies, I might be justified in thinking that the universe was conspiring to send me a message. Three presentations in particular stand out. One said that it takes just 20 hours (45 minutes a day for 27 days) to master the rudiments of anything. Another said that an experiment showed that 90 something percent of people who wrote an appointment for the gym in their calendar actually went. And a third talked about happiness.
The first I like. In theory. But committing to 45 minutes for 27 consecutive days is proving difficult. Now, had I to have some sort of medical treatment that required the same commitment, I’d have no problem finding the time. Or if I was on parole and had to report in daily. Or if I had accepted a challenge to say a decade of the rosary in a different church every day for 27 days and a trip to Mecca was riding on it – then I’d find the time. But to learn Hungarian? I’m struggling. Being of a rather anal disposition, I’d prefer it to be the same time every day. But do I want to commit to being up and at it by 7.30 am every morning? Or curb what little social life I have these days by committing to 7.30 pm every evening? And during the day? That doesn’t suit either.
I know I’d be a lot happier if I could speak to my neighbours. I think I’d be a lot less happy if I could really understand the conversations on the metro or the tram. One of the advantages of not really speaking the language is that I’m saved the drivel.  I can avoid the banality, the complaints, the negativity so evident in tone on public transport. Do I really want to open those floodgates?
But, I don’t want to die not having had a few decent conversations in Hungarian with people I couldn’t otherwise talk to. I don’t want to be the procrastinator Lawrence talks about. So, I’m biting the bullet.  I’m going to try the 45 minutes of concentrated effort. Except that 27 days is a lot and I only have a clear stretch of 14 so I’m going to do 45 minutes twice a day for 14 days starting 10 November. And then we’ll see. Gotta be grateful for small steps. 

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  • 2 Responses

    1. Procrastination is a devil alright, I sometimes even put off procrastinating, and then every now and then a raft if stuff gets done. And of course I wonder why can’t I be like this all the time. Good luck with the Hungarian. Great read

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