From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I think I speak for most of the human race when I say that doing hard things, or maybe more accurately complex things, is often left as long as possible, often sliding to the back burner, often procrastinated about to the absolute end of the time frame allowable. As a for instance when I finished my children’s “baby book” scrapbooks February 2019, said children were 18 and 20 years of age.
Some of us around the office call this tendency to procrastinate to the limit “eating the frog.” We know that ‘it’ must be done but who really wants to tuck into that slimy, undesirable, long put off or hard to swallow project right now?
I have always had a hard covered notebook in which to capture all of my messages, notes and ‘to do’ lists. From time to time, the big frog item gets copied and re-copied week after week in a succession of to-do lists until the very last minute. In some cases, copying out my colour-coded and comprehensive ‘to do’ list is the job choose to do rather than actually doing the dreaded task!
A friend recently reminded me that hard things are best done with gusto, like taking Buckley’s cough syrup. There is no pleasure in sipping away while you listen to your favourite show tunes. That stuff is horrible, but necessary; you just have to hold your nose and belt it back. And I guess it’s the same for those dreaded tasks big and small. The huge policy review, the grant application, the report, the survey roll-up, the letter that you must write to friend you have hurt – we can imagine that all taste horrible.
So what is a girl with a colour-coded, hard-covered, beautiful ‘to do’ list supposed to take away from this bit of thinking? I guess I need to watch for signs that I am putting something off, make a plan more often to move it to the front burner, and never mind the nibbling… just eat the frog in one gulp.
I think we all know that once the job is done, there is an almost instant relief in not having it hanging over us, a pride in having conquered it, excitement in crossing it off rather than transcribing it yet another time. Similarly to the Buckley’s scenario, we are going to feel better almost immediately.