Procrastination and the art of learning to empty your basket

| January 20, 2015

Procrastination is difficult to unlearn once it’s an established habit. Leicester Warburton has a surprisingly simple solution.

“Your problem, Leicester” said my boss with an audibly fraying note of tolerance in his voice, “is that you tend to put everything in a ‘too hard’ basket!”

He was correct, of course, and it was a decidedly blunt wake-up call. My basket was damn near full. The writing was on the wall in letters of fire – or be fired.

Procrastination was something to be unlearned – and fast! So it was then that I was urgently propelled into learning the simple mantra to the way to empty my basket.

I looked out my window when I came home and surveyed the garden furniture that had been bugging me since 2002. That was when I painted the chairs and table a gleaming white. The cast iron table with the marble top weighed a ton, or tonne. Came out from England in a sailing ship in the 1800’s as ballast. It’s resplendent with a reproduction of Britannia and the royal crest. It’s a fine piece and deserves care. Now it has the look of a rusty, stranded hulk. So I went out and bought a handsome wire brush.

But back to the mantra. It’s not rocket science as I believe Sir Richard Branson is wont to say. It galvanised me to action.

Progressively empty my professional basket. Done.

Back home, fix the broken hinge on the laundry cupboard. Done.

Toss out all my old shoes. Well, almost all, except my really first favourite old pair. Done.

Write that sadly overdue letter to the old couple in Brisbane who are hungry for news. Done.

Go through my filing cabinet and toss out invoices going back to the year dot. Keep only those back a year. Done.

Clean the bedroom window. Done. I was feeling good. Smug even.

So what about the mantra? You may be amazed. It’s simple. It’s direct. It’s as obvious as that distinguished nose on your face… The only way to beat the procrastination bug is to do it!

I’m ready to go to repaint the outdoor furniture. I can’t find the handsome wire brush. It has been a long time. I guess I’ll buy another one.