On my computer there are options for multiple desktops. On the first desktop (and my physical desk at home) I have a short list of things I am proud to do. I created the list to act as a go to when I’ve completed my running to-do’s, when I’ve addressed all my notecards but I still want to be productive in a way that makes m proud. This post is not about that list.
This post is a response to the notecard I crafted a few months ago – when I was first exposed to these ideas. Three quotes and a conclusive statement:
“There is a difference in waiting to do something you know you should be doing now and waiting to do something because now is not the right time. It is the difference between Procrastination and Patience.”
“You multiply your time when you give yourself emotional permission to spend your time on things today that will give you more time tomorrow.”
“If ever you will delegate something, you must first give yourself and the one you delegate to the permission of temporary imperfection.”
Therefore, when considering what next to do, the question is not ‘What is the most important thing I can do today?’, but ‘What can I do today that will make tomorrow better?’
Regarding the first quote: This is true and a useful distinction. Patience is a virtue; Procrastination is a vice. Like so many virtues and vices, I expect and have also experienced that they compound. The more I procrastinate, the easier to procrastinate it become; the more I am patient, the easier to be patient it becomes. Recently I received a personal testimony about patience I would like to share:
“Just a note to let you know that I am doing quite well even though Martha left me June 17, 2013 (eight days short of our 70th anniversary) to be with Jesus. I do miss her, but I know she is much better off and is waiting for me. My life now is like it was when I was in the Pacific during WWII. Her picture is ever before me and now I wait for life to be over as I was waiting for the war to be over that we would be together again. The difference is that I am not in a hurry for our reunion a I was before; I want The Lord to use me as a witness of His Grace. The Lord’s timing is perfect and I am waiting.”
Regarding the second quote: I’m not sure I agree. The concept of multiplying time is of course a bit of hyperbole or figurative language. Time doesn’t really multiply. My use of it becomes more efficient, but time still moves forward. But I think the core message is true – it’s a worthwhile investment to spend time today on things that make tomorrow smoother.
Regarding the third quote: This is very insightful and absolutely true. More leaders would benefit from remembering this and giving out this permission more often.
Regarding the conclusion: There will be occasions in which an urgent and pressing matter arises and needs to be addressed before and at the expense of making tomorrow better. Very rarely will this happen because most urgent and pressing matters will make tomorrow worse if they are unaddressed so that addressing them is the thing which most makes tomorrow better. However, a funeral or wedding or sick family member might be worth attending to even though it may not actually make your tomorrow better. Usually it will, but not always – and even when it doesn’t it can still be the right thing to do.
That being said, I find this conclusion very edifying and useful for being an effective intentional person.
What are your thoughts? Did I get it right in my response?