What My Microwave Taught Me About Procrastination

cartton microwaveYes, yes, yes, the cartoons are back!

I know a number of people who were suicidal when I initially removed them and a class action lawsuit was being filed against me for causing unnecessary emotional distress to so many people.

Well ok that may be somewhat of an exaggeration, but I did have one person say he was mildly disappointed to see the cartoons go, and another say, “I don’t really give a rats ass buddy, but if you put a gun to my head I’d probably opt for the cartoons”.

A ringing endorsement I think we can agree which has meant I’ve decided to do a flip-flop that would have any political adviser weeping in shame, and I’m bringing the little fellas back.

Let us never talk about this again.

What My Microwave Taught Me About Procrastination

I don’t know about you, but very few of my great learning lessons in life have come from small to medium sized household electrical appliances.

I did once find out that you shouldn’t ram a fork into a toaster when the thing is still switched on unless you want 240 volts (in the UK) running through your body.

I also discovered that you shouldn’t throw teddy in the washing machine unless you want him to come out sans ears and 50% short in the arm department, but after that I’m struggling to come up with anything.

Until that is the other day, when my microwave taught me a lesson about procrastination that I’ll not forget for for a very long time.

I don’t know about you, but I hate emptying the dishwasher.

It’s up there with ironing, clipping the dogs claws and nailing my manhood to a plank of wood as things I’d sooner not do.

The problem is though all those jobs need doing from time to time and there’s no way of getting round that.

Well maybe not all of them, I rarely do the ironing.

The other day I was in the kitchen at lunch time looking for something to eat when I spotted some fresh clam chowder in the fridge I didn’t know we had.

Mmm, Lukewarm Soup

Job done I thought, just whack it in the microwave for 2 minutes and voila I have a bowl of lukewarm soup for lunch.

As I went to the cupboard to get a bowl I noticed it was the last one and groaned as I realized that was because Helen had put the dishwasher on before leaving for work.

If there is a person on the face of the planet who would sooner not empty a dishwasher more than me, it’s Helen.

The thing is, she knows I daren’t leave it all day for her to deal with when she gets home because she’d probably ram my head down the garbage compactor.

Well, either that or glare menacingly at me, which is actually far worse.

So usually what happens is I spend all day procrastinating on it and then do it in a mad rush 20 minutes before she gets home.

I put the soup in the microwave for 2 minutes and with a heavy heart turned to the dishwasher. It was rammed as usual.

Soldier that I am though, I started to empty it and put things away. About 10 minutes later everything was away and I smiled lovingly at the empty racks.

Then the microwave pinged.

The Wake Up Call

WTF?? I must have hit the wrong button and my soup would now no doubt need asbestos gloves to be removed and 2 hours to cool down before I could drink it – or do you eat soup? Neither sounds quite right to me.

I opened the door and tapped the bowl gingerly to see how hot it was, and it wasn’t. It was exactly like I had planned it to be, lukewarm.

Suddenly a voice popped up in my head:

Me: “You silly fucker, it only took you 2 minutes to empty the dishwasher, is that really worth procrastinating over day after day?”

Me: “Don’t talk to me like that buddy, I’m a Life Coach you know and I’d never allow my clients to be so internally abusive!”

Me: “You make a good point and I apologize. But the cool thing is now you need never concern yourself with emptying the dishwasher again!”

In fact you can even make it a mindful process and get some benefit from it rather than just muttering to yourself that the person responsible for designing the cutlery compartment should be tarred and feathered.

Woo-hoo a win/win let’s high five baby!”

What Do You Procrastinate On?

It is weird that we often procrastinate on doing things that take little time. We build the chores or tasks up in our mind as being way bigger than they really are and we stress ourselves out unnecessarily.

I honestly thought it took much longer to empty our dishwasher than it does. That’s partly because I wasn’t mindful when I was doing it and partly because I’d never bothered to time it.

There are some other tasks that don’t particularly enjoy doing and I now intend seeing how long they really take and adopting a more mindful approach to them which means focusing on  the job in hand and not what I’d rather be doing.

Try it out for yourself, you may be surprised at the results.