Life Notes: A Little Water Combats Wasted Time
by David Wheeler, Ph. D.

I am sometimes intrigued by things that others might consider trivial or mundane. For instance, I think about the effect of running a little water on dishes before you sit them in the sink. My wife does not like dishes to accumulate in the sink, so we don’t usually leave them there long. However, you’ve probably noticed that when you leave them there overnight and food dries on them it can be difficult to clean them off. It takes time and scrubbing at that point.

On the other hand, if you run a little water on them when you put them in the sink and allow the water to sit, you should be able to quickly rinse them off quickly the next day to put them in the dishwasher. What strikes me about this (besides the obvious practical issue) is the comparison to daily life. There are things we avoid and put off doing that actually become more time consuming than if we had done them promptly.

For instance, when you procrastinate on balancing the checkbook, it seems to get more complicated to reconcile it later. If we would exercise a little bit each day, it would be much less painful than trying to get in shape after laying off for a while. If we would give a little attention to our loved ones on a regular basis, it might not be so hard to connect later. If we would spend a little time with God each day, it might not be so hard to feel close to Him when we notice that we need Him.

There are so many practical, personal, and relational things to which this principle could be applied. The old expression “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind. I guess it can be overwhelming to think of all the things we need to do on a regular basis, specially when we live such busy lives. If we can overcome the temptation to procrastinate, we will probably find that we not only reduce our stress, but we also save time. After writing this, I feel inspired to go balance the checkbook. Well, maybe I’ll get to it later in the day … or tomorrow.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.