Confessions of a Procrastinator
Great ideas. Big plans. There's plenty of time to make all these dreams come true — starting tomorrow.
Larry Carlat served as managing editor for Next Avenue.
That’s what I tell myself when I wake up every morning. There’s still more time to write that children’s book about a race of alien puppies who never grow up. Or that sardonic play based on the music of Steely Dan. Or to develop that iPhone application that helps you feel good (working title, Feel Good; patent pending).
I always get all excited about these and other big ideas and email my friends about them. Then they get all excited for me and I begin to imagine what my life would be like when the alien puppy/Steely Dan app becomes a huge success and I’m swimming in money in a new house somewhere on the prettiest beach in the world. This fantasy will very often sustain me right up until lunchtime.
But not to worry, because there’s still more time.
(MORE: The Easiest Way to Find Time for Everything You Want to Do)
We’ve all had great ideas — and, for lots of different reasons, never follow through on them. We tell ourselves that we’ll get around to them on the weekends or we’ll wake up extra early in the morning or stay up extra late at night to flesh them out, but we never do. Sometimes we suck it up and hunker down, but then we get waylaid by other things in life, like our day jobs, our children, our friends or whatever happens to be on HBO. But it’s no biggie: There’s still more time.
Until one morning when you wake up in your mid-50s and you’re a little more anxious than usual and you can’t exactly put your finger on why, but something feels urgent in your gut and it hits you that, tick tock, time has been flying by, how the hell did that happen, and all of a sudden there’s an expiration date on your creative dreams. You must do that thing that’s been burning in your heart — whatever it is — before the grains of sand run out.
No more talk — action! You put your head down and you’re more determined to succeed than ever before. You’re in your prime and filled with newfound energy and inspiration. This is your last and best shot at making your dream come true, at finally doing that thing you and everyone else always felt was in you to do. It feels good to have a sense of purpose and take control of your destiny.
No more excuses. You can DVR Game of Thrones. The last thing you want to do is wake up in 20 years and realize that you’re no closer to your dreams than you were when you were young.
Nike was right: Just do it! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! And no matter what happens — whether you become hugely successful and buy that beach house or merely follow through on an idea that goes unnoticed — you’ll know you did it. And that’s all that really matters.
I’ve been thinking about the one great thing I’ve always wanted to do and wondered why I haven’t done it. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Who knows?
Thank God, there’s still more time.