“Abe Lincoln once said that if he had six hours to chop down a tree, he’d spend the first five hours sharpening the axe.”
If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d probably spend the first five hours staring at it, hugging it, dancing around it, taking photos of it, and mourning its loss in advance. Then I’d frantically start chopping away at the last minute.
I guess what I’m touching on here is procrastination. Scratch that - it’s actually about preparedness.
I sometimes get myself into situations where I’m rushed to complete a task. Examples: Writing this blog post after midnight before the morning I’ll share it with you is one. Launching my new dance class 2 weeks before it starts is another.
And believe me, it’s not because I don’t care wholeheartedly about these things, it’s because I do care. While I knew the deadlines for both were coming, I wasn’t quite ready to get them out until...the last hour possible. The ideas had been brewing, but they weren’t ready yet. I had to do other things until I got that moment of clarity, the urgent spark that tells me “GO!”
We all have different styles of preparing. Some people like to sharpen axes for five hours, and other would rather dance during that time. I think the key is to know your process and trust in it, to not judge yourself because you’ve chosen to do it differently than Abe.
How ‘bout you?
Are you one who likes to spend time on meticulous details and plan things way in advance?
Or do you put things off and let them marinate before launching?
Tell me in the comments below!
Wherever you’re at on that continuum, I’d take a guess and say that it’s perfect. Even when you think you’re wasting time, you’re probably instigating the process in some hidden special way. And when you think you’re totally prepared and on top of things, circumstances you least expect could pop in to change your plans.
Do it how you really want to do it.
But preferably, let’s not chop down trees.
right on time,