Let’s not kid ourselves about having more time later.
Just as there is a start-up cost at the beginning of a project, there’s a cost to restarting stuff that’s been set aside too long. I was reminded of this with the chairs. The materials sat on the top left corner of a set of shelves along the back wall of the garage. I saw them each time I came and went. The tools, however, had to be gathered from various places. Clamps, here. Mallet, there. The big scissors. The cable staple gun. Some I didn’t remember needing until I rewatched the YouTube video, showing me how to weave the seat. So there was the time spent relearning as well.
I stopped working on the chairs in 2013, thinking, “I’ll have more time for this later.” In reality, it cost me a good deal more time coming back up to speed. The idea that there would be some sort of time efficiency was a lie I had believed.
I had a similar experience with the ebook I’m writing. I broke from it for what I thought would be a day or two. Two weeks later, I endeavor to pick up where I left off, but as I start I realize that, despite the very good notes I keep to track progress, my mind needs a refresher course. Where am I with this? How much have I covered? How much remains? Haven’t I already tucked this section I’m about to write in somewhere else, or am I imagining that? Easy enough to check, but do you see how that veers away from the actual writing I’ve come to do this morning? Now I’m in research or edit mode. Switching back into writing mode is not as easy as flipping a light switch. I take time for an overview. The ebook will be fine, but suddenly I am aware of the presence of an uncertainty that did not previously exist.
There are valid and good reasons for laying a project aside. People, for example. Jobs. Essential household tasks. Breaks to refresh and restore the creative soul, etc. But stopping in the interest of time efficiency is a myth. I’m not talking about things we set aside for an hour, or a day or two. I’m talking about things we set aside with good intention of coming back to, but then it falls off our radar screen. Or, we set reminders, but keep hitting snooze every time they pop up. When this is an ongoing scenario, we’ve likely taken on too many things. (See previous post.)
My point: There is a procrastination cost in terms of time. It’s worth considering when setting things aside.