Have you ever heard this phrase bantered about by your grandmother?
A stitch in time saves nine
The first time I heard it, I had no idea what it even meant.
When she explained that it illustrates the idea of getting things done immediately instead of procrastinating, it all clicked for me.
Instead of waiting until a small rip in the fabric gets bigger and bigger, if you stitch it up right now with one stitch, you will save having to stitch up a longer rip in the future.
Now, whenever I look at a piece of unopened mail, or mundane but necessary task, I repeat: “A stitch in time saves nine.”
Instead of letting a little piece of unopened mail pile up into a mountain of stress (it has definitely happened, I assure you), think about adopting this rule:
If I touch or think about the task, I complete it.
When I get a pile of mail, and out of it, I have to make a simple phone call to my insurance company to confirm my new address, I do it immediately.
It takes maybe 5-10 minutes, maximum to finish the task depending on how long you are asked to wait on the line, and I finish the task to clear it off my mind and out of my life.
Let’s consider if I leave that telephone call until the end of the day. Or end of the week, on the weekend when I promise myself I’ll get everything done.
Come the end of the day, I am too tired, and the offices may be closed for the night as it is after working hours.
Come the weekend, and a mountain of little “simple” tasks greets me in the morning.
And, to add insult to injury, the offices may be closed for the weekend.
If you can do the task immediately and if you have the resources available (I always keep stamps, a pen and a piece of paper handy), then what’s stopping you?
Bonus: While you’re waiting on the phone listening to muzak, you can wander around the home and start completing all of your other little tasks such as wiping down the counter, or making the bed.
If you think about it, clutter in our lives and a sense of disorganization is really just as a result of procrastination of some sort.