When In Doubt…Do It

“Should I change this tablecloth? Or do you think it is okay for one more customer?”

The other night, while out for dinner, this was the question I heard one waitress ask another across the dining room. But the second waitress didn’t hear her. “What?” she said to the first waitress.

Instead of asking the question again, it was her response back that really struck me. “Never mind, of course I need to change it. If I’m questioning it, there’s only one right answer…do it, right?”

Trying to rationalize my way out of what I know I need to do.

How many times do we ask ourselves if something really needs to be done? More often than not, I would have to agree with our waitress that night, the right answer has to be to do it.

What is the motivation of asking the question in the first place? For me, it is usually laziness. I’m looking for a way to give myself permission, a way to let myself off the hook. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we need to go the Nike route…Just do it.

Do I really need to pick up the socks laying on the floor, or can I just step over as if I didn’t see them? Just do it.

Do I need to do the dishes before going to bed, or can they wait until tomorrow? Just do it.

Do I need to file those expense reports, or can I put it off until next month? Just do it.

Putting it off doesn’t save us the effort, it just delays (and often compiles) it.

The truth is, that skipping over a task doesn’t complete it. Putting it off for later usually means we will have more to deal with later. Think of it as maintenance.

Each day you step over those socks, you’re probably adding another pair to the mess. You can pick up five pairs, or just put the pair in the hamper each time you take them off.

You can file one month’s worth of expense reports, or file twice as many next month (and have fun trying to remember all the details a month later too).

So many of the tasks we question could probably be achieved in the time it takes us to ask the question if it needs to be done in the first place! So the next time you find yourself asking if it needs to be done, skip the question and just do it.


What tasks or chores do you find yourself trying to get out of doing? What are some ways you motivate yourself to just get them done? Please share in the comments below!

Banner Photo Credit: Flicker User Larry; Pastina Restaurant Interrior