This master is called "The Now." Whenever he calls, you answer. You would drop everything just to please him. Everyday, The Now calls you to do an additional task -- and you haven't even finished the last task.
As a true introvert, I despise this master! I don't like having to do anything NOW. Heck, I don't even like answering my phone right now -- and I barely answer my e-mails right away.
Unless the task is urgent, I don't care to do anything NOW -- and YOU shouldn't feel that you have to do anything RIGHT NOW.
My wife would tell you that you ought to never, ever, ever put me on the spot to make any decisions right away. Unless it's a life or death situation, the decision could wait. Yes, I'm one of those odd folks who like to take a day or so to think about my decision. Most of the time, believe it or not, I have already made a decision on the spot -- I just don't want to give you an answer on the spot.
I know...sounds weird....
You see, I don't want to be a slave to The Now. I want to be the one in control. The Now could wait until I get ready for him -- if I ever get ready for him.
In our society, we're always hit with The Now. Deadlines, bills, applications, cleaning the house, losing weight, appointments, the list goes on. When you're in the process of doing one thing, The Now throws another task for you to deal with, and even before you get to that additional task, The Now decides to toss in one more task to do.
Then you'll be running around doing everything and accomplishing nothing.
Why is it that we feel that we need to do everything now? Is the task really so important that it can't wait? I bet that most of the tasks that you feel you have to do NOW could actually wait until tomorrow -- or next week.
- If you paid your mortgage two weeks early, would the bank give you a discount on your next month's mortgage?
- If you clean your house right now, would any of your neighbors throw you a party?
- If you don't watch the news today, would you be missing out on a chance of a lifetime?
- If you get to your job one hour early, would your boss give you a promotion?
The answer to all of these is NO. So, if attending to a matter right now would make no significant impact on your life, why rush to do it right now?
There is one thing that you do need to do right now: you need to take time for yourself and just chill.
When you're rushing to do this, that, and the other right now, you're not earning any bonus points for yourself. You're just raising your blood pressure! You get no extra credit points for heaven. You get no pat on the back. You don't even get an "attaboy." All you get is stress.
One lesson I'm teaching my kids is that when they wake up in the morning, don't ask Mommy or Daddy for any crap! Or when we get to the house, don't ask for jack! Daddy wants to come home and chill for a few minutes. No, I'm not making this, that, or other. I'm not attending to anybody's needs. Just leave me alone so I could think!
And yes, it works on my kids -- because they have no other choice but to do what Daddy tells them.
Ever been to a Time Share presentation? This is when reps would tell you why it's important to invest in vacation homes. My wife and I went to one of these presentations in Disney World so that we could get $60. We were actually duped, because I heard of other people getting $120 for wasting their time in those presentations!
Anyway, the rep had us sit through a video, then showed us around the resort, and then finally sat us down hoping that we would make a decision RIGHT NOW! Yes, we needed to make a major real estate decision at that moment -- and he even said that there is research showing the importance of making an immediate decision. I'd like to see his sources!
Mind you, I just wanted 60 bucks. I ain't had the cash to purchase real estate on a Disney Vacation!
After pressure from him, his manager, and another guy, they finally realized that I wasn't budging. After two and half hours of my life taken away, I finally got my $60 -- and even questioned if it was worth it.
You will get constant competition for your attention. Everything around you wants immediate action from you. The Now wants to be your master. But you need to learn to say NO to The Now as many times as possible. Most of those tasks that you feel to you need to do right away could actually wait.
And purchasing real estate could definitely wait!
The older I get, the more I realize that there is value in taking your time to tend to matters -- and there is NO value in taking immediate action.
Unless you're about to get evicted from your home...
- It's okay to wait.
- It's okay to say "Later."
- It's okay to let the house be a disaster for a few more days.
- It's okay to change your oil at 3,100 miles instead of at 3,000 miles.
- It's okay to pay your rent a little late if you have a grace period.
- It's okay not to eat something right after you wake up.
- It's okay not to get to bed on time.
Focus on tending YOUR needs first, then you could focus on tending to someone else's needs. Your immediate need is to relax. Don't get caught up with doing everything at this second. Most of your tasks could wait. Let your attention be on YOU, not on The Now.