Milk has to be put back in the refrigerator or it will go rotten and left-over cooked chicken has to be put in the refrigerator so you don’t poison your family when you serve it again. You don’t have to put your hammer away. You can set it down on the table after you use it.
You can put the screwdriver in the junk drawer in the kitchen. You don’t have to walk downstairs and put it in the tool box.
And why would you clean out the linen closet when you can just throw everything in the guest room. And those old baby toys, why waste your time sorting through them? Just put the boxes in the guest room.
Why waste today cleaning when you can do it tomorrow? The good news. There is always another tomorrow. So keep delaying. And the book you started writing? You can put that in the guest room too. You don’t have to write today. Really you don’t, there is always tomorrow.
Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.
Mark Twain – From “More Maxims of Mark.”
My bad habits of not putting my hammer away and putting off unpleasant tasks like cleaning out the linen closet have spread to my writing.
Bad habits are contagious.
Yesterday I wanted to write the outline for a book I am writing with a friend. I couldn’t concentrate. I wanted to take a nap or put the outline for the book in the guest room with all the linens I had to fold and toys I had to sort. Mark Twain had given me bad advice. There is always another tomorrow. If I keep putting off my writing until tomorrow, I will be dead with all my words still in my brain.
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
I put on my Incredible Hulk mask and got angry. I cleaned out the guest room and put my hammer away. I don’t want to follow the advice of Mark Twain. Procrastination was wasting my time. If I had just put the linens away when I washed them I wouldn’t have such a big time-consuming job to do later.
I want to write. I don’t want to waste my time looking for my hammer and cleaning up messes I left from the day before.
My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.
I will follow the advice of Charles Dickens and Picasso over the advice of Mark Twain. Today is the day.
You can’t write yesterday, because it is now today. And you can’t write your story tomorrow because tomorrow never comes. When you wake up, tomorrow has become today.
Who do you want to listen to? Charles Dickens and Picasso or Mark Twain?
Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat, after I work on the outline for my book.