How many times, when we do something we are too tired, or too lazy, or too self-conscious to give it our best?
How often do we think: this time I’ll just spend this much energy, but tomorrow I’ll push all the way?
It’s one thing to measure our effort so that we can sustain ourselves in the long run, it’s a whole other deal when we hold ourselves back because we just don’t feel like challenging ourselves.
One of the best advices I’ve heard to beat a procrastination habit is to decide to work for a short amount of time. For example, sometimes I tell myself : tomorrow I’ll have the day off so I will spend the whole day writing. In most cases, I won’t even get to my desk and spend the day doing more or less meaningless chores, partly because they have to be done, and partly because I’m too afraid of spending the whole day working. Because the thought of doing something for ten hours straight is so daunting, you’ll keep pushing it away until the mere possibility of it happening vanishes.
Instead, when you tell yourself: tomorrow I will find one hour to write, unless something unexpected comes and ruins your plans for the whole day, you usually manage to fit one hour of uninterrupted work into your schedule.
But that’s the catch: if you decide you do something for one hour, you have to be all in. You have to give it your best effort, so that this hour is worth it in the long run.
Often we are too lazy to do things on the spot: we always think we’ll have time later.
Well, sometimes we don’t.
That’s why it’s important to never hold back: to kiss the person you love like you’ve been apart for a week. To hug your parents the next time you see them as if you never going to be able to do that again. To say the truth. To stop and think for a few moments before coming up with a thoughtful birthday wish for your friend instead of just writing “happy birthday” on his Facebook wall.
I’m not saying you should live every second of your life as if it was the last one. There is such a thing as too much intensity. But putting some excitement in your routines is a sure way to be present, and to be grateful for all the things you have and that make you happy.
As for work, no matter how much time you decide to spend on it, make sure to give your best, even if it is just for thirty minutes. Being concentrated on your task is the first rule of performance.
So, don’t hold back, break the routine, cherish the moment.