A man with brains and a shovel

A blog about goals and obstacles, motivation and procrastination, life's random events and getting things done.

The Law of the Farm

Trying to overcome my chronic procrastination, I've come across some amazing books. One of them is "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven Covey.

I have a list of all 7 habits literally at arms length on my desk and look at it once in a while.

One important aspect that can't be stressed enough is "being proactive". Procrastination is the opposite of proactivity.

In school, some things an be accomplished be cramming and we learn that you can reach your goal by pulling all-nighters. Cramming for that test, writing that paper. All that can be crammed.

Covey explains that cramming is an exception. Most things in life can not be crammed. He calls it "The Law of the Farm". On a farm, you have to be proactive. If you don't plant the seed in advance and then cultivate, weed and water the plants, you don't have a chance to bring in the harvest.

It's like this with almost everything in your life. Most important things need to be taken care of in advance. Do you want to be able to run a marathon? Try goofing off of a whole year and then start working out a few days before the event. You can't cram exercise. You want good friends, family a happy marriage? These things need time to grow and if you skip on the cultivating responsibility, you might lose them.

Humans are terrible at estimating time. Our gut feeling leads us to do the wrong thing. We feel like we have plenty of time for certain things. Find a partner for life, have children, start saving for retirement, dedicate your work to that business idea you have. Of course only fools rush in, but the bigger fool is the one who postpones each an every day, effectively wasting your life.