Do Stuff. See What Happens.
“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”
— Napoleon Hill
I had a breakthrough a couple of days ago, and I’d like to share.
I took my drum set to a music gear exchange store to trade it for a guitar pedal. I hadn’t had the drums assembled in years, and the guitar pedal will help me further explore ambient horizons, as I’m playing guitar regularly.
I traded in the gear the store needed for the pedal I wanted and got a little money on top of that.
This action probably doesn’t seem like much of an achievement, but I first talked with the store about the trade almost three years ago.
That is an excessive level of procrastination.
Avoiding the Past Out of Fear
I’m not the type to think about cleaning up past messes because I’m afraid of the consequences.
The questions start running rampant. “Could I be doing something better with my time? Am I wasting my time getting rid of things? Am I going to want to use this in the future? Am I ready to let this go? Can I live without this?” The list goes on.
Dealing with past things is a sore spot with me. I had a ton of different interests, and physical collections came with most of them. Once the enjoyment of those interests faded, I still had all the things that corresponded with them.
For instance, I took the time yesterday to weigh my collection of burned CDs, cassette tapes, and 3.25" floppy disks and boxed them up to send to a green recycling company. I’ve started the process, but I need to finish it, or else I truly have wasted my time.
This Won’t Be a Problem in the Future
These days, my main interests are music and writing. I need instruments, gear, a laptop, and that’s about it. Everything else can go.
I’ve downsized a fair bit over the past few years, but there is more to go. There are more things to agonize over, but the biggest issue is approaching the items to remove.
I have a saying I regularly use — “approach it, meet it, see it through, and move forward.” The snag in that phrase is that if I don’t approach something in the first place, I feel like I don’t have to deal with it. Inaction leads to more inaction.
Nostalgia Can Be a Hindrance
Another problem is that getting rid of old things felt like getting rid of my past. I had a hard time with that because I clung to what I had. I enjoyed the time I spent with those items, even if I hadn’t used them in years.
I’m more present-focused now. If I’m not using something or don’t have definite plans to use something for a future project, I can let it go. The only sentimental things I’m reluctant to get rid of are old instruments, and I can use those for future projects, even if I don’t have current plans for them.
That could be why getting rid of the drum set was so tricky, even though I’m primarily a guitarist and keyboardist, and have programmed all my drum tracks for many years.
Don’t Expect the Best, but Sometimes It Happens
I also felt more excited and upbeat than I had in a long time after finishing the trade. I finally got something off my plate that had been on it for years, and I got a better outcome than expected.
So, quit procrastinating and do things! Even if the outcome is less-than-stellar, you’ll feel better that you completed it and got it off your plate.