Leaving Things to the Last Minute

Leaving things to the last minute is something that I have done quite often in my life, in many different ways. For me this has mostly played out in the form of procrastination, knowing that something had to be done, but not having the motivation to get to it and do it. Simple things like feeling that I needed to clean somewhere in the house, or knowing that something had to be completed for work but just holding off on doing so, or knowing that I had agreed to do something for another but not finding the time to do it.

I am becoming aware though, that ‘leaving things to the last minute’ can be played out in many different ways in our lives, for instance leaving home with just enough time to get somewhere and invariably running late, or being so busy with work or a project that one is made late for an appointment or meeting, even down to being so busy that going to the toilet is held off until the need is dire.

All of these things put my body under stress, creating a constant anxiety, as my body knows what is needed when, but I more than often ignore its subtle messages and push through to do what I think or want to do before I address the next thing that needs my attention.

The other thing that I have observed when I am holding back from doing the next thing is the excuse I use – “oh, sorry I am late, but I had to complete…” – because it sounds good and proves how ‘committed’ I am to my work or the project at hand.

We can often make the mistake of thinking that living this way only affects ourselves and that giving the impression we are a productive person in society is enough, where it seems this is quite the opposite as many are not productive at all although they may appear to be so.

Does this appearance of being productive then become an unconscious push in our body to be seen as being just that step ahead of another? Is there an energy at play, a judgment that is underlying in society where those who are not seen to be productive are regarded as a burden, even though they may really be accomplishing more without the big show of ‘being productive’? As we do not want to be seen as being ‘unproductive’ ourselves, do we live in the stress of constantly proving that we are productive, creating a tension between ourselves and all others? And does this only affect us? Or is there a ripple effect happening that we are very knowingly choosing to ignore in preference to feeling our own self-importance?

Does leaving just enough time to get to an appointment and finding that we are late, affect just us? Are our families being impacted by our behaviour, and by how we feel when we are living under the stress of needing to prove our worth and value to society?

I have come to the understanding that there is a very real ripple effect to living with this need to prove my value. When I am late for an appointment the person expecting me is impacted. When I live under the constant drive of proving my worth in society my family is the front-line receiver of my behaviour and are impacted daily in a multitude of ways, feeling the disregard when the simple daily life processes are ‘done in a hurry’ or simply ‘left to another time.’

What I feel is so harming about this behaviour and way of living is that when I am caught up in this I am absolutely oblivious to the effect it has, not only on those around me, but on society as a whole. I now realise that this is living in a way that is in complete opposition to the impulse of my Soul and the messages my body is constantly sending me.

Innately we all know our worth, our value and what it is that we individually bring to society. We have more than enough time to complete all of our commitments along with honouring our bodies and moving on to the next thing as it is needed, with plenty of space (time) to do so.

Honouring that, if it is time to move onto something else and what we are working on is not finished, then the space will be there later to complete it. Living this way brings a flow, an ease to life and a deep trust in ourselves: it also highlights true commitment as we are no longer committed to what we want or think needs to be done, but to society as a whole.

It’s time to remember the simplicity of surrendering to our body and allowing our life to unfold with the power and glory that is naturally within each and every one of us. To not get caught up in the societal judgments that are present, but to see them and understand each person’s reason for choosing to be part of them. Living a steady solid knowing of the value of each of us and showing another the way to step out of the prison the judgements become.

By Leigh Strack, Goonellabah NSW

Related Reading:
No Longer Racing Against Time
Time and Our Perception of it
How was your Day? – “Intense”

851 thoughts on “Leaving Things to the Last Minute

  1. It is so true, we have the choice to create space or rush through life jamming things in that lack the true quality of who we are.

  2. What is beautiful is when we recognise a constellation for where we need to be in life and it is both wonderful for oneself and also brings abundance to everyone else at the same time through the service it brings. A win win for all and something that we just have to say yes to with all our being.

  3. A wise woman once said that if you are on time you are already late and since I heard this `i have been aware how true this is, and so I try to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time, and this allows me to be fully present for what ever is next

  4. Super honest consideration of the full impact our seemingly benign choice to put ourselves into stress has – it actually not only has deep ramifications on our own well-being, but will be felt by every person we interact with. A simple destructive pattern that diminishes everything in our lives and impacts on all.

  5. In doing things when we first receive the feeling to do so we are deeply supported to do them. The moment we decide another time to do them we are trying to take control and make it about ourselves and when we actually come to do them, we are not supported in the same way, the longer we leave them and the more that build up on the list the worse they begin to feel.

  6. Being late does put the body under stress. It is an unconsciously deliberate behaviour of mine to take myself out of stillness. I can then feel racy or anxious when I arrive somewhere, often in the nick of time but not feeling or bringing the stillness that is naturally within me.

  7. “Leaving Things to the Last Minute” – is leaving ourselves to the last minute because of how it affects us in the body when we are in any delay.

  8. I never considered it until now, but me trying to prove myself and show myself as busy and worthy is competition for I’m often measuring myself in this against something or some other and making it about me, rather than honouring the flow of both my body and the wider world. I can feel when I live in this way life becomes so much simpler.

  9. Coming to understand the concept of space instead of being controlled by time has finally supported me to dismantle the old and destructive pattern of ‘leaving things until the last minute’. And these days if I begin to run late, the tension building in my body is the loudest reminder that this pattern no longer has a place in my life.

  10. I truly hate that feeling of leaving things to the last minute; anxious, tense and in stress my body gets tight my movements become hard/brittle and my breathing becomes more laboured. How much kinder it is to myself when I leave myself plenty of time to stay calm, open and relaxed.

  11. “It’s time to remember the simplicity of surrendering to our body and allowing our life to unfold with the power and glory that is naturally within each and every one of us.” So true. The natural and innate flow that is within us when we do this comes with such ease, it seems crazy that we dont choose to allow it all the time.

  12. It is a pattern to be late.
    Even I had times that I was on time to leave the house I would do things which made me late anyway.
    So why we do that?
    How do we arrive at our appointment when we walk (run) in stressed? We are less aware of what is coming to us, what the situation, how the people feel.
    Can it be that we keep the pattern to not feel what is there,?

    1. It is not a very supportive pattern at all Sylvia. I used to find myself ready before time and then instead of leaving would find something else to do and then have to rush. What a horrible exhausting way to be that was, and taking that exhausted me to meet others is definitely not being responsible.

  13. Being fully prepared for our day and any eventuality that may occur is only possible by not leaving things to the last minute. Living life on the back foot is exahusting and in truth ultimately supports no one.

  14. Leaving things until the last minute is another way of holding back from getting on with things. I know this pattern all too well as I know what needs to be done and have the time to do it and then consciously do something else or I only half complete the task. The thoughts in my head always tell me that I’ve got plenty of time, so there’s no need to do it straight away. Then it drags on and on until I run out of time and have to rush to finish whatever it is and causing anxiety for not being prepared.

  15. These seemingly small things as leaving too late because we don’t have order in our house or in our routine do have a huge effect both on ourselves and others.

  16. “Honouring that, if it is time to move onto something else and what we are working on is not finished, then the space will be there later to complete it.” This is so true and takes away the pressure of having to get something finished with ‘perfection’, which has so often been my want. Its very liberating to not have to have everything perfect.

  17. So true – we typically delay dealing with the real issues in life till the point our comfort is disturbed. Yet along we have a register within that clearly tells us it’s not right.

  18. It is widening our view of life to see the true reason and that is why we choose stress as a vibration at certain moments or as a long term momentum.It always brings down our awareness.

  19. Such a set up, and yet I have done it a million times. The difference between leaving it to the last minute, and getting ahead of the game and realising how much more space there is – it has a huge impact on how I feel.

  20. At times it looks like a setup when we are late and come to a problem with ourselves, having to stress our bodies to then make things happen. You would say that we are intelligent and therefore should learn from these situations, but apparently we don’t as in my experience we do it over and over again and that why, to me, it looks like a setup that is of our own creation.

  21. There is certainly a difference between doing a lot and the quality of what we do. I was certainly a pro at fitting lots in but not having much to show for it. This really reflects the extent to which we hide behind being busy.

  22. I have never felt that not going to the toilet in time would put my body under stress and creating a constant anxiety. It is only recently that I started to be honest about the consequences on my body when I don’t listen when I have to go for a pee. Of course this is causing stress and anxiety but all my life I just went along with what seemed more important than my own body.

    1. A great example Annelies, to which many of us can relate Im sure. Such a simple thing, but one that can have untold effects on our bodies when ignored. Talking of which….. 🙂

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