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”

777 thoughts on “Leaving Things to the Last Minute

  1. If we step out of the vibration of stress we get much more clear And get tasks done much easier and we find more time available.

  2. When we hold off doing something we delay the next step, and rather than being committed and responsible for our part in it there is something that we are getting out of the delay, and that is where we need to be honest, is it the elation of finishing something just in time or the control of holding the top card in a project, either way if there is something to be done we should always aim to do it in our natural rhythm and not get caught up in the game of delay.

  3. Bringing it back to value, how we value us, how we value others shines a new light on how we are in what we do and any drive, push or cramming that may come in. And the first step with that value, being honest about what is possible and what is not, and giving ourselves and others the time and space to hear that.

  4. “Leaving Things to the Last Minute” – is a way to not feel and creates anxiety keeping the body heightened in stimulation. It’s an awful way to live, and yet it is one of the most common ways to live. We are living life to not feel not just ourselves, but also to not feel one another too.

  5. Time and time again I leave things to the last minute, get stressed and feel my body harden in the process.

  6. Leaving things to the last minute is a deliberate tactic employed by the human etheric spirit so it can ride the ‘out-breath of God’ (live in excess motion) just that little bit longer because the moment it does not, it naturally falls back into rhythm with the greater whole that it has departed from, which is the love and light of our Soul – the place where all spirits must eventually return to and dissolve back into. Therefore, choosing to live in excess motion by virtue of speeding things up and creating less space/time for us to get things done (e.g. leaving things to the last minute) is a deliberate sabotage of that which evolves us; learning how to move in sync with the Universal order we belong to and not moving against it.

  7. Leaving things to the last minute is a long established spiritual pattern whereby you achieve something by means of nervous energy and then go into withdraw/relief. So, it is all about avoid advancing by setting standards that capitalise on what you have done.

  8. This is a great question; ‘Does leaving just enough time to get to an appointment and finding that we are late, affect just us?’ I know that if I am running late this affects my family because I am then rushing to leave home and it also affects everyone I meet on the way because I am in a drive to get somewhere and not connecting with people along the way and it affects the people who are where I am going because I may arrive flustered, rushed and not calm and steady. The ripple effects are huge.

  9. I definitely know about the ‘less productive judgement’ and it actually doesn’t support anyone. It either bludgeons myself or the other I judge or puts us under a force and a drive to do more. Fueled by a lack of understanding and lack of appreciation for where we or another is at.

  10. This habit of leaving things to the last minute is one that I fall back on intermittently. I can think I have it cracked, then it can slip back in again. I find I use it the most to take the shine off the way I arrive to work, a meeting, even a social event etc. When I notice this it is not so much that I like being late, as the momentum of hiding and not bringing the authority that comes from stillness in the body.

  11. This big production show of productivity is brilliant to expose here. And I love how you also refer to the way of life where just being you is enough, and where productivity is about quality.

  12. At work, looking ‘productive’, copious huffing and puffing and the occasional deep and meaningful, albeit in truth fabricated and enforced sigh, are the hallmarks of the deceit and cunningness at the bottom of competitiveness, the race to the top and the general ‘dog eats dog’ environment we have created.

    1. The deep insidious-ness of this all to familiar behaviour is how imposing it is upon all others in the office, a reality we don’t feel until we acknowledge where and how we too play the very same game.

  13. Anxiety does kick in big time when we leave things to the last minute, and if we are honest it doesn’t feel that great in the body and then when we arrive at our destination we feel ill equipt to deal with whatever the situation is we are there to deal with.

    1. Because we are too busy running our thoughts with whatever self discrimatory record we use to stop ourselves from truly feeling, oh so simply, how uncomfortable our bodies feel when we don’t address what needs our attention. What we let our minds do to keep us from the simplicity of living present in our lives is actually deeply devastating and causes more harm to ourselves and society than we are willing to acknowledge.

  14. It is always great to wonder why we are doing something because just knowing it is not right or we should be not doing it is not always helping if we don’t resolve why we do it in the first place. For me I can sense there is a lack of wanting life to flow and be easy because I then have to be in my power and beauty all the time and there are not ‘off’ moments to indulge in my woes… It is very clear how things like not acting on my feelings or procrastinating is actually a form of creating issues in the future so I have an excuse to be not feeling great…

  15. I have been a lsst minute leaver for most of my life particualrly with things that I did not want to do. I can clearly see now how avoiding such things just caused stress and anxiety not only for me but for others as well. There is so much to honour when we do things as they arise as it supports everyone involved and it opens up space for more opportunities.

  16. Leaving things to the last minuet is such a common thing, something i see a lot in both myself and other young people, an inability to get up and get on with life and all that needs to be done, until the very last moment when anxiety and tension kicks in and gets the job done.

  17. True commitment feels like a movement inwards: consulting our inner compass on what is there for us to do, and exactly how to do it, and for how long. It doesn’t mean working all day and night to do something, whatever it takes and whatever the expense. True commitment is about deeply committing to living what we can feel, first, which then leads on to a wider commitment to humanity, because if we can feel the effects of how we’re living first then we can feel what everyone else is living in too, and there we find and feel the purpose of our commitment to ourselves as a part of the whole.

  18. There is such a difference felt in my body when I leave things to the last minute as to when I complete things or arrive with plenty of time for an appointment etc. I create anxiety for myself when I leave things, but when I give myself enough time and don’t rush anything, space opens up where I complete things with greater ease and simplicity.

  19. Keeping on top of things allows so much more space for what there is to do. We can fill our lives with things we have to do, and use these as a distraction to keep ourselves busy and not then being able to do what is being called for.

  20. I can so relate to what you have expressed Leigh. I too have been very identified with being busy and get a sense of satisfaction from the busy-ness as it is proof that I am a good person who is contributing to society instead of lazying around all the time. Even though there is still some of that momentum in me and how I am throughout the day, the more i come back to nurturing myself and actually accepting myself for who I am without the need to identify with the tasks at hand, the more I have been able to drop the busyness and drive.

  21. I also feel that being late for appointments etc is a form of control. It can be a way of subjugating others from the outset. I have heard some people talk about the way they use psychology to manipulate their workmates and thus steer the meeting, say, in the direction they want it to go for themselves.

  22. I remember thinking I was being very nonchalant about getting to the airport to catch a plane, leaving it till the last minute until one day I nearly missed my flight and then realising how much of a game I was playing. Now days I love being at the airport all checked in with time to spare so there is absolutely no chance of causing myself unnecessary stress.

  23. Judgment is actually a prison that condemns us and as long as our thoughts are locked into its mindset we will fail to read between the lines of what is actually going on or see the potential that there is another way of looking at it.

  24. There are no benefits from “leaving things to the last minute”, there is only the tension that builds as the time to do something seems to disappear. And if we end up not doing what is waiting, and put it off some more, the tension builds and stays within us until the task is complete. This tension feels exhausting, which it is, as our body has to carry this ill-condition for however long we put off what is waiting to be done.

  25. When I get myself out of the way eg.self-created issues and sense purpose there is no single moment to procrastinate… I just get on with it making it about the loving connection to self.

  26. What is disregarding to the body will be revealed by the body without doubt and cleared. In our conventional business world, clients are always in an all-important role that disregards the service providers. As if money is the be all and end all in having the power to abuse. A reflection of that is we have first abused ourselves from leaving the connection within ourselves and hence the way we deal businesses will naturally also be abusive.

  27. There is a natural flow that our body relates to, and when we honour that flow we naturally know when things need to be completed and there is no leaving things to the last minute unless we are out of sync with our body.

  28. I love arriving early to appointments/work etc as it gives me an opportunity to simply be with myself before entering into the next situation. It is a stock-take moment in many ways.

  29. “Leaving Things to the Last Minute” – is a way to reduce space, and when space is reduced so too is sight.. of what needs to be done and thus procrastination is nothing more than the deliberate detour or circumvent around responsibility. We travel thousand miles an hour… yet go or get nowhere in this guise.

  30. Yes we can know how destructive something like this can be and yet we find ourselves in a ritual pattern of disregard, until we really clock and make a choice not to do that again

  31. Leaving things to the last minute has been a strategy I have used to get things done. Changing this is a work in progress.

  32. All of the examples given in the blog, like putting off going to the toilet are ways to delay what you are feeling to do. It is a common way of putting our bodies into stress by not responding to what is there to be done in its natural timing.

  33. All of the examples given in the blog, like putting off going to the toilet are ways to delay what you are feeling to do. It is a common way of putting our bodies into stress by not responding to what is there to be done in its natural timing.

  34. Good timing for me to read this, I’ve just been examining leaving deadline based work tasks to the last minute and realising how much it compromises my wellbeing because of the push and stress. I realise that allowing myself enough time, including completing well before the deadline, is a very self caring approach. I have been working on self care with the support of Universal Medicine for some time and I can now see many new areas to bring self care to that I wouldn’t necessarily view as traditional self care areas. I am beginning to see how all of life can be held from a self caring approach.

    1. It flys in the face of how we were brought up to not be ‘up ourselves’. As self care is the absolute precursor to true care for others. I would never have believed this fact until I felt the love I feel for others deepening the more I deepen my love and care for myself.

  35. I have been really aware of a pattern I have, especially with paperwork, in wanting to avoid doing it. So much so that even when I make time for this … I find something else to do instead! Being with this a bit more what I am feeling is it is an underlying anxiety that needs to be addressed and me on some level avoiding making my life more simple! Crazy the ways we sabotage ourselves .. being busy being one of them.

    1. What you have shared here is the constant trickery that our mind plays with us. It does take a very steady choice to ‘stay on track’ and ignore the subtle offerings of ‘other things to do’.

  36. What would happen if we give life our absolute all? Would we be complaining about time in the same way when to the best of our ability everything is done with our fullness and completeness?

    1. Great point. Just allowing ones self to even contemplate the actual claiming a living of this negates time. As what becomes important is knowing that our quality is very needed here in earth and then comes a very clear sense of what needs to be done when, and time is not even thought of.

  37. When you accept that everything is energy you come to understand that there is an energetic ripple effect for everything we do, including “leaving things to the last moment”. This is something that has been such an ingrained pattern in my life, one that I am working towards dismantling especially as I can now see so clearly the energetic consequences of doing so.

    1. Something that is coming to my awareness is that the delay in doing something is very insidious as it keeps ones focus constantly in a holding pattern. Where as, if each thing is taken care of as needed, it is very easy to be open to whatever is coming next, and there is a readiness for whatever that may be however it is presented.

  38. Leaving things to the last minute, or even rushing to get something completed has a huge effect on our body. It also put us into almost like a tunnel vision where what is is that we are doing becomes the only thing and we end up excluding or shutting off to everything that is around us. We can do things quickly but still complete tasks in a way that we remain connected and not disengage from the world around us, remaining aware and not shutting down. The result is that we end up with more than enough time to complete all we need to without rushing.

    1. A very significant sharing.
      Remaining open and aware is very needed, as things can change in a heartbeat and if we are stuck in single focus, we will always be behind the eight ball, so to speak. Missing cues as to where we might need to be which we then feel the tension of in our bodies. No wonder we have a society that is constantly in pain, illness, disease and injury. As rush, pressure and doing things at the very last minute is very much considered to be the normal way to live life.

  39. I have used this or something similar many times ‘oh, sorry I am late, but I had to complete ..’ The thing is it is not being honest or taking responsibility for how we are living and it is kind of saying to the person I had something more important to do than you!

  40. Planning holds comfort whether we plan to run everything down to the last minute or we plan a very tight ship where everything is done with time to spare. The spirit has it all wrapped up in ‘Plan A, B or C’. This blog highlights the importance of flowing with what we know deep within is needed in the moment – all doused with a huge dollop of love.

  41. We keep ourselves more busy with worrying about, questioning and resisting things than the actual tasks we have in life take.

  42. Waiting for life to shake us up and into the truth is a favourite habit of ours and very often we ignore it still then! But what would our world be like if we didn’t hang about but rather got on the front foot instead?

    1. Thank you Joseph, this is a wake up call that we are not here to be in constant reaction to what is around us but that we can determine where we are going simply by following the truth we deep down know and feel.

  43. Most of us have felt the ripple effects when someone leaves things to the last minute. This includes the resulting lack of care as everything is rushed and forced, as well as the emotional tornado both of which leave a disturbance in their wake, let alone we witness ourselves or others be pulled into the ensuing drama that can be caused.
    But somehow when we are the one initiating such an experience we tend to forget about our impact on everyone else. Thanks for the clear reminder.

    1. Very true Golnaz, we do tend to forget that this impacts on others. When we become focused on one goal and become tunnelled we can’t see anything around us at all, including the impact we can have on others. Sometimes its important just to stop to put the periscope up and have a look around and see that there is much more going on than our own view and focus on the world.

    2. I very much feel this ripple effect at work. We often receive a task with a short timeframe to complete. This means the work is done in a rush, and most likely with frustration and a lack of care. It becomes just about getting it done. We noticed that this happens every year with certain requests so created a chart with a timeline so we didn’t have to rush at the last minute.

  44. There definitely is a tension when we leave things to the last minute, and then it affects the rest of the day. I have to watch being on my computer before work because I get distracted and don’t leave myself enough time to leave the house in a calm manner, and inevitably I forget something, or I feel unsettled before the start of my shift.

  45. To choose a rhythm that serves us well is what we are worth. It is very self loving to have a natural rhythm in which there is the space to complete.

  46. Thank you Leigh – this shows so much how we often do this from a disconnection to true flow and order.. As if we are honest, these two are actually missing when we rush things and do things from a to do list or hand in things just in time or being too late. It totally takes away our joy of being part of the whole.

  47. Leaving things to the last minute really does create tension in the body and the delay creates so many problems. I had to do something for a meeting and kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure what to do, but instead of asking for help, I have to apologize to others for the issues caused. It is such a good learning not to leave things to the last minute, it serves no-one, least of all ourselves.

  48. There is an enormous amount of stimulation and excitement in leaving things to the last moment, so to heal why we do it we have to look at our lives and identify why we are needing stimulation and excitement.

  49. Time is the greatest lie in life, and deadlines are it’s chief weapon. When we subscribe to timelines we loose the flow and so our connection to love. If we feel what is needed and act on this we may find there is incredible spaciousness to what we do.

  50. To be on time is not just respectfull to others it is also very loving to ourselves. No rush, no excuses just very present and claimed in their rhythm.

  51. There is a pattern of abuse, with a chunky dose of lack of self-worth thrown in, that plays out when I leave things to the last minute. And there is a simplicity and transformative impact of not doing this; of making space in my day for whatever is scheduled… getting up a bit earlier when the day is very full is something very simple and practical that supports me.

  52. When you procrastinate, even ever so slightly, it it is felt in the body. The body innately knows what needs to be done, when, where and how. When we resist this, for some of the reasons described in this blog, it creates tension that many of us live with on a daily basis. I dont think we fully realise this as a society, what havoc that wreaks on our bodies and to ourselves.

    1. So true, as living on ‘the edge’ so to speak is classed as normal. With the pressures of daily life, work and family commitments. What we forget in living with these pressures is that we are the ones that feed them and make them what they are. Giving ourselves the grace to look at our life and reevaluate it is something many do not do until an illness is knocking on our door. What this shows though, is that if we can adjust and change in these dire circumstances, then we can also do so before we are faced with them, the choice really is ours to make.

  53. I used to joke that I had a PhD in procrastination, but in all honesty it was actually no joke because claiming that kept me an ever increasing of cycle of stress and tension which of course was with me in every movement that I made. This tension was always running through my body but although unpleasant to feel it became my normal way of being. I have finally come to realise that it is not in the least normal so have begun to dismantle this ill-named PhD. And in doing so the tension that I lived with for so long is dissolving and that feels amazing.

    1. How you describe this dissolving of tension Ingrid is something I recognise in myself too, and I agree, it does indeed feel amazing to find oneself in situations that before, would have been feeling pretty anxious or stressed about even if it was just a at a low level of discomfort, that now to find that there is no change in how the body feels. And this happens more and more across my day to day life, which is enabling me to be more open to and with people, and them with me.

  54. Last minute is not even about time for me, but when I know something needs to be done in that moment and delay it.

    1. To true, we really don’t connect with how quickly our delaying tactics cause us to be pressured by time. Could this be a choice we constantly make to keep us forever on the back foot, so to speak. Forever at the mercy of the clock, when in any moment we can choose the beauty of responding and doing what we feel is needed.

  55. Leaving things to the last minute is something that I am learning not to do any more as it puts a lot of pressure on the body.

  56. Leaving things to the last minute is like always playing catch up and this is something I am only just starting to realise. Staying on top of things and getting them done straight away does mean there is far less tension involved as well as leading to a better quality work. We can kid ourselves saying we work far better under pressure but how true is this really?

  57. Leaving things to the last minute was such an old habit of mine and perhaps is very common too for many others, but now I can feel how dishonoring that is to myself as I am giving myself less time, less space and less love!

  58. ‘feeling the disregard when the simple daily life processes are ‘done in a hurry’ or simply ‘left to another time.’ I do feel the difference now when I go into rush mode in those daily life processes, for example just getting ready for work. If I have went into the old habit of rushing it is because I have not given myself enough time to get ready, as I have spent to long on the computer! I feel the disregard immediately.

    1. Applying some understanding here of the intensity and fast pace of life (the speedo is forever going up it seems) gives me some space to be gentle with myself, set aside critic, and realise that in spite of all that is going on around me, I can make quality choices for myself about how I am going to move, take care of and manage myself in my days.

  59. One game I play is making myself look busy. I like to know that people think I am hard working and that I am busy as a bee. This is silly and it is an image I am trying to break, but finding it challenging when I can feel myself getting judged for not looking busy. Funny how this can trigger people!? But then again, I know I too have done this to others, thinking about how ‘busy’ I am and why they cannot get off their bums and help out! I am just being honest here in saying how I have reacted – not saying that this is either good or bad. But it helps me understand others and myself. In choosing to be super busy and look busy, I miss out on that feeling of spaciousness that allows me to hone in on what is truly needed next – I fight this because then life would appear too easy….and we can’t do that, can we? 😉 well time to break these patterns!

  60. Another thing I do other than leaving things to the last minute, is to make things more complex than what they need to be! Or lament about a job that needs to get done and technically in the process of lamenting I have just wasted precious time and energy which could have been used to get the job done in the first place! Crazy what we do to ourselves to make our lives more scattered and challenging!

  61. “Leaving Things to the Last Minute” – the more space i live with and allow myself, the less I am gripped by the clutch of stress or tension. It can be as simple as getting up earlier in the morning, or going to sleep earlier in the evening to get a quality that supports in steadiness.

  62. Leaving things to the last minute creates a story and as we tend to identify ourselves through our stories it suits us to whip one up. The price we pay however is the stress this drama causes to our body.

    1. Whipping up a story is far more the reality of life than we know. We are innately powerful, steady, honouring, loving, graceful beings, so, how many stories do we allow to dull, deny, doubt and downright sabotage this truth?

      1. Many stories I would say Leigh, but the main story is the story we tend to live in that includes our ideals, beliefs and undealt with hurts without checking in to who we truly are and this leads us on to see and accept others in their stories. Time to step back and move away from the stories and see what is really playing out!

      1. Absolutely . . . and yet we never actually feel better! And this leads to the fabrication of even bigger and more dramatic and elaborate stories as the drama gives us a short burst of energy to do what needs to be done and then takes more than it gives completely depleting us in the process.

    1. Well said Jenny, this is one of the biggest tricks of the ages. It also poses the question, why do we need to look busy instead of being truly focused on the steadiness of addressing what is there to be addressed as it arises?

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s