Hello, Retiree. My Name is Procrastination. We can be great friends.
We both know what you SHOULD be doing right now.
Emails. Laundry. Meditation. Jogging. Bill paying. Bible reading. Writing. Facing clutter that would make Marie Kondo blush.
Your dog sits at the front door with a leash in her mouth. And that yoga mat and weights aren’t going to get off the shelf on their own accord.
All I have to do is turn your gaze to Facebook, chocolate, another cup of coffee, the news. You need to be informed, right? Perhaps your IRA needs tending.
Did an hour just slip by? Your dog sighs and returns to bed.
In the absence of traditional work, retirees need strategies for sticking to daily disciplines, de-friending procrastination, and making first things first.
James Clear has written extensively on how to form good habits. He recommends we incorporate the “Seinfeld Strategy” described as follows —
“Brad Isaac was a young comedian starting out on the comedy circuit. One fateful night, he found himself in a club where Jerry Seinfeld was performing. Isaac caught Seinfeld backstage and asked if he had “any tips for a young comic.”
Here’s how Isaac described the interaction with Seinfeld…
He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
You’ll notice that Seinfeld didn’t say a single thing about results.
It didn’t matter if he was motivated or not. It didn’t matter if he was writing great jokes or not. It didn’t matter if what he was working on would ever make it into a show. All that mattered was “not breaking the chain.”
And that’s one of the simple secrets behind Seinfeld’s remarkable productivity and consistency. For years, the comedian simply focused on “not breaking the chain.”
Clear and Seinfeld are right. The secret is the “every day” part. Putting that X in the calendar square and not breaking the chain.
Want to incorporate a morning time of meditation and prayer?
Want to have a more grateful heart?
Want to get rid of those “hi Jane” arms?
Start building that chain today. And say good-bye to Procrastination!
Today’s Takeaway –
-Don’t worry if you skip a day. Just don’t skip two if at all possible. Good habits have a way of evaporating. And then Procrastination comes knocking at your door!
-Don’t feel badly about dating Procrastination -who is awfully cute and entirely familiar. This post is late in coming because I have been VERY busy — spending time with Hannah, the controversial bachelorette. 🙂
Enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay and Joy