Put It Off Until Never

Posted By on Aug 13, 2015 | 14 comments


I once heard someone say, “There are a lot of days in the week but someday isn’t one of them.”

The second those words entered my ears it became one of my favorite quotes, a mantra by which to live.

When I say those words to someone, it usually gets a chuckle or a grin. I don’t use that line to be funny, though.

As an author of fiction and some non-fiction, I get lots of people who tell me they wish they could write a book. Others talk about how they want to travel more, maybe visit Europe or Asia or South America or explore the United States. Still more talk about how they desperately want to start their own business or go back to school to get a degree.

I always tell them to go ahead and do it. And the answer is always the same.

“I will someday.”

Then I hit them with the line. They hit me with a smile or a laugh. And we go our separate ways until we meet again.

I worked as a high school guidance counselor for twelve years. The last six of those years, I wrote and published over a dozen books. And I did it in my spare time.

People used to ask me how I was able to write so many books while working a full-time job. I explained to them that you make time for the things you want to do in life. They would say that there was no time, they had kids, jobs, other obligations, or were just too tired.

My response is always the same, and perhaps a little insensitive. I tell them to stop talking about what they want to do because if it was truly what they wanted, they would make time for it.

But how?

I used to wake up 90 minutes early every day before going to work, just so I could get some writing done. And the first thing I did when I got home was sit down and crank out more content.

“But Ernie, when you have kids and other things going on, it’s too much. I already wake up at 5:30 everyday.”

Yeah, I get that one a lot.

Interestingly, I have a friend who works a full time job in a medical career. He’s got two kids, a wife, a dog, and a cat. He’s also on four or five committees, plays softball, and still manages to make time to spend with his family. Not to mention they travel quite a bit. Oh, and he trains daily for triathlons.

He must have found a magical time machine that gives him 36 hours in a day! Right?

Obviously I’m kidding.

No. He wakes up at 5:45 each day and goes to bed at midnight.

Maybe you think that isn’t enough sleep. Maybe you’d be right.

I had students who worked 12 hour shifts and then showed up to school straight from their jobs and they did this three times a week.

My question is, do you want to sleep or do you want to write that novel you’ve been talking about for five years, visit Tuscany, drive around the country, get that new degree, or start that business?

Procrastination can be a difficult thing to overcome. It gives us an out so that we can keep on with our busy lives, believing we are accomplishing or doing so much simply because we don’t have time.

Interesting thing, time. It is the only commodity of which every man woman and child has an equal share. Sure, lifespans are shorter or longer. But we all have the same amount of hours in a day.

How will you use yours?

14 Comments

  1. Thanks, Ernie!
    This is very timely for me as well as a direct message to get my arse in gear doing those things I want to do…especially writing.
    I will see if I can download the Kindle app and read your book. At one point I know that was an option.
    Thanks for making time in your life to do the things your soul wants/needs to do.
    It inspires many of us.
    May peace continue to fill your heart!
    Deb

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    • You’re very welcome, Debbie. And thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

      Have a great day!

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    • Hi Ernest
      I am one if your big admirers. Loving history and reading.
      I agree. If you want to do something don’t say “I will start next week”! Start right away. The more you do the more you get done. I do need 8 hours sleep but my hours awake I use every minute. Reading painting drawing cooking shopping baking and me time then family time. When I was younger I had a nursery school two daughters and still did what I am doing now and I was mom’s taxi. Where theres a will theres a way! Thanks Ernest. Best of luck with your book you are working on now. Regards Anna

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    • Thank you! I first read you story of the kid that wanted his grade fixed in well it brought me bk to my senior year in highschool. I was getting report card and as I noticed it it was almost a all a report card never had I made all a’s so as I looked at it one of myfavorite teacher mrs Diehl was one who gave it to me I was just like two points off. Well I begged her to just change I can I do extra credit. Well she said it was too late n that she couldn’t it was my last report card. Well it so happens that some where in life I forgot we learn by others mistakes or failure or what I thought was failures. And our own n learning. As It turned out id meet a man in 2005 who told me something that ive applied majorly to my life that was the you can’t call it a mistake if u learn from it. N so as far as I know everythings part of gods plan in when time comes I will be prepared. But I will always continue learning its a given since birth.

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  2. Ern,
    Thanks for reminding me of what I already knew, but was refusing to address. I’ve gotten into the habit of making excuses for NOT writing, rather than making priorities TO write. Too easy to fall into that trap – thanks for the kick in the pants!

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    • Hey, we all need that kick, MP. Half the reason I wrote the post was to keep kicking myself!

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  3. Just bought the book Ernie. Now if I could only find the time to read it!! OK I’ll do it just after I check my Facebook page again. There must be another funny dog video post on there that I haven’t seen yet.

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    • That’s great, Richard. I hope you find the time to read it and that you find it helpful. Some of it is common sense and some of it is stuff that I had to figure out along the way. But even the common sense stuff needs a reminder now and then.
      HAHAHA!
      Awesome comment about the Facebook page and dog video. So true.

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  4. This has been my biggest obstacle since I have retired. After taking care of strenuous jobs, ill parents, stepchildren and nephews and other assorted daily problems, I got so tired that when I retired I got into the “I’ll do it later” phase of life. After catching up on years of lost sleep, my first vacation ever and books I wanted to read I noticed that everything else had gone to “you know where”. Now, I need to get off my you know what and do some catching up. I got your book today and I am hoping that this book will help me set some priorities that have gone by the wayside. Thanks for the assist. Have a blessed day and life.

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    • Thanks for this great comment, Barbara. I love the way you word things. 🙂 I hope the book helps too. It’s a short one but I feel has some helpful tidbits and reminders.

      Have an awesome day. 🙂

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  5. This just put so much into perspective and affirm what I’ve long said.. It’s not how much time we have but how we chose to use the time. You’re right, time is the one “commodity” we all have in equal portions! Thanks for the affirmation.

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  6. Ernie,
    I have just become a great fan of yours after reading The Jerusalem Creed followed by the starter library then Chasing Comets! I really enjoyed each one of them. I was surprised when the character Allyson Webster became a thief in The Lost Canvas after being an Axis agent in the Jerusalem Creed.
    Although I have limited funds (Social Security only) to buy more books, I hope to add to my collection as I am able.

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  7. Ernie,
    I received the link to Dominate Your Day and downloaded it to my Kindle app but when I try to open it I get an error message saying cannot open file.

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    • Hmm. I’ll have to check the file and see what’s wrong. I’ll also try emailing it direct to you.

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