“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”
– Rita Mae Brown
Waiting until the last minute came to mind today because my 13-year old had midterms this week. I’ll bet you can fill the rest of the story in without my help, but here’s the short version.
He didn’t study until the last minute. He didn’t write the paper until the last minute. He didn’t even pay all that much attention to what he was supposed to do until the last minute.
So this week, with a lot of things due all at once, he’s been super-stressed and incredibly cranky.
Seems like everything worked out okay, as procrastinators know it often does. But, there’s a lot of worry that goes into all that waiting until the last minute.
Waiting until the last minute keeps your brain full
You may be wondering what on earth this has to do with minimalism. Surprisingly, quite a lot. Minimalism isn’t just about how much stuff you have in your home. It’s also about how much stuff you have in your head.
If you stop to think about it, you’ll probably recognize how much more space in your brain each thing you need to do takes than each thing you’ve completed.
Nearly 100 years ago, psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik noticed that when a customer asked for the bill, the waiter could easily remember what the customer had ordered.
If, however, the customer asked a question about the order after paying, the waiter had a hard time remembering anything about the order.
Zeigarnik believed the sense of closure essentially erased the order from the waiter’s memory.
“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.”
– Mason Cooley
Avoiding procrastination will also help, since you won’t have as many things to keep in the front of your mind, whether consciously or unconsciously.
What you will do with all that new free space in your brain you get from avoiding waiting until the last minute? How about inner peace, joy and gratitude.