Do What You Can Now and What You Can’t Later

I like to think I’m a productive person, but the truth is that my high school and college self blow me out of the water.  Really, if I can write one blog post, put on real clothes (pajamas, incaseyoudidn’tknow, are fake clothes.  They do not exist.), and answer important e-mails I’ll give myself a gold star.

But I’m slowly learning to become more productive once again.  Maybe not as productive as my sophomore year in high school when I would occasionally wake up at 3AM to do my lit homework, but productive nonetheless.  If you haven’t noticed, I have in fact posted 5 days a week since June, which is not necessarily impressive (there are many bloggers who do much more than that) but it does require me to actually put in the work. Rather than just say “yeah, I’ve got a blog” but only post once in a blue moon (what?  I’ve never done that before!), I’ve managed to create something on a schedule.  I’ve done the work.

And as silly as it sounds, I mean this is a personal blog, people, I’m not expecting a medal or something, it has been work.  It’s not always been easy.  And sometimes I get stuck.

I get stuck like this with other things too, not just the blog.  I get stuck and can’t seem to make myself update my resume, get to the gym, reply to that awkward e-mail, call the 5 different people that I really need to speak with, schedule a doctor’s appointment, take a shower, get out of bed, go pick up my reimbursement from the purser, etc.  I don’t know why this happens (especially that reimbursement one, I mean that’s my money, but whatever), but I just get stuck sometimes.  It’s like I might be able to complete the task halfway, but I have no faith that I’ll actually get it done.  Or maybe I’m so scattered that I can’t seem to put a coherent sentence together.  Or maybe I’m really tired.

If you’ve ever been through this before you know that this is a special breed of procrastination.  It’s not that I’ll do these things at the last minute… it’s that I will never do them. ever.

This was happening to me the other day when I was trying to write a batch of blog posts that needed to be scheduled.  I had ideas for 6 different ideas for posts.  Problem was, those ideas were not written out yet, and I couldn’t seem to get them written.  Full sentences weren’t coming.  Just fragments of ideas with no real connections.

So, like we do in most cases, I had 2 options.  I could close my laptop, go back to watching whatever ridiculous movie they were showing on tv, and pretend like I didn’t care that I might not get the work done and my 3 month streak for posting 5 times weekly would be ruined.  Or I could just write any way. 

I chose the latter.  I did what I could anyway.  The posts aren’t done, but they’re there.  It’s a rough outline, but I have 6 rough outlines that need to be fleshed out and polished, which is a lot more doable than 6 posts that are basically blank pages.  As I was writing, I was not happy.  But I just kept repeating to myself, “do what you can.” Instead of my earlier mantra of “you’re an idiot and you can’t even get a silly blog post done, who do you even think you are?”

Maybe this is an obvious call to you, maybe it’s not.  But for me, I just keep telling myself “do what you can.” Not because it’s magic and all of the sudden everything’s done.  No.  But because if I do nothing… then nothing will happen.  But if I do the one thing I can do, even if it’s not right or complete, I have at least started on that big thing that I “can’t” do.  

You usually can’t do all of it now, rightatthisverymoment.  But you can do something.  So do what you can, and do it now.  Even if the things you can do are “get out of bed.  Shower.  Brush your teeth. Make a list.” Do the things that are easiest and that aren’t scary.  Do the things you can.

And then doing the stuff that you can’t do gets easier.  Yes, you do it later.  But eventually later becomes now.  And the stuff you can’t do becomes the stuff you can.

What do you think?  Am I being Captain Obvious?


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