Don't Delay

Understanding procrastination and how to achieve our goals

Today I Will Take Life Easy

Too much to do? Want to put it off? A story for you.

Days with Frog and ToadI just finished reading stories to my children, ages 3 and 5 years. Among other things, we read the first chapter of Arnold Lobel's Days With Frog and Toad entitled, "Tomorrow." It is a wonderful story with an important lesson for us all, particularly when we're facing a day like Toad with "so much work to do." Because only a small portion of PT blog readers may know this short story, I want to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Here's the story Tomorrow as written by Arnold Lobel.

Toad woke up.

"Drat!" he said.

"This house is a mess. I have so much work to do"

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Frog looked through the window.

"Toad, you are right," said Frog, "It is a mess."

Toad pulled the covers over his head.

"I will do it tomorrow," said Toad.

"Today I will take life easy."

Frog came into the house.

"Toad," said Frog, "your pants and jacket are lying on the floor."

"Tomorrow," said Toad from under the covers.

"Your kitchen sink is filled with dirty dishes," said Frog.

"Tomorrow," said Toad.

"There is dust on your chairs."

"Tomorrow," said Toad.

"Your windows need scrubbing," said Frog.

"Your plants need watering."

"Tomorrow!" cried Toad.

"I will do it all tomorrow!"

Toad sat on the edge of his bed.

"Blah," said Toad.

"I feel down in the dumps."

"Why?" asked Frog.

"I am thinking about tomorrow," said Toad.

"I am thinking about all of the many things that I will have to do."

"Yes," said Frog, "tomorrow will be a very hard day for you."

"But Frog," said Toad, "if I pick up my pants and jacket right now, then I will not have to pick them up tomorrow, will I?"

"No," said Frog "You will not have to."

Toad picked up his clothes. He put them in the closet.

"Frog," said Toad, "if I wash my dishes right now, then I will not have to wash them tomorrow, will I?"

"No," said Frog. "You will not have to."

Toad washed and dried his dishes. He put them in the cupboard.

"Frog," said Toad, "if I dust my chairs and scrub my windows and water my plants right now, then I will not have to do it tomorrow, will I?"

"No," said Frog. "You will not have to do any of it."

Toad dusted his chairs. He scuibbed his windows. He watered his plants.

"There," said Toad, "Now I feel better. I am not in the dumps anymore."

"Why?" asked Frog.

"Because I have done all that work," said Toad.

"Now I can save tomorrow for something that I really want to do."

"What is that?" asked Frog.

"Tomorrow," said Toad, "I can just take life easy."

Toad went back to bed. He pulled the covers over his head and fell asleep.

Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he specializes in the study of procrastination.

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