The first snowstorm of the year is always exciting, especially when it arrives in the middle of the night, and we wake up to a world that looks totally different than it did mere hours before.  Then reality sets in:  how to MOVE all that snow?  That’s what I’m thinking about right now, as I type this post.  And I just realized that shoveling snow is about more than shoveling snow.  It’s about procrastination, and the way we wrestle with everything we want to accomplish in our lives.  Just as there are many different options for getting the snow off your driveway, there are many ways to overcome the influence of procrastination in your life.  Imagine that the “things you want to get done” in your life is like having a driveway full of that white stuff.  And more is coming down.  The beauty is that any way you approach it, you will clear your driveway.  Grab your earmuffs and read on (for a more direct discussion on overcoming procrastination, you can also check out this article by K. Stone on !

  1. Shovel each time the snow accumulates 4-6 inches.  You wake up in the morning, and there’s already nearly half a foot of snow on the ground.  The blizzard is underway.  You start thinking about shoveling now, but then you realize that by the time you’re done shoveling, the driveway will be covered with yet another layer of snow.  Perhaps you should just wait for the snow to stop?  On the other hand, it’s MUCH easier to move 6 inches of snow than it is to move 12 inches of snow.  Head out there and start shoveling!  So what if you have to shovel twice – at least you won’t throw your back out doing it!
  2. Do something else.  Wait for the snow to stop.  Then shovel.  Oh, how I can relate to this one.  There are lots of pressing things that can be done, of course, while the snow is a-flying.  Remember that novel you bought two years ago, and that’s been sitting on the bookshelf, neglected and forlorn, ever since?  Grab it!  Read!  Plus, it’s so cozy inside.  Did you notice how much the bookshelf needs to be dusted too?  Be prepared to set aside some major time for shoveling later, when you actually have to get somewhere (or before guests arrive).  And make a call to your massage therapist for urgent backcare upon completion.
  3. Shovel after every two inches.  You can shovel two inches in no time at all!  You run outside, clothed in cold-weather gear, and zip, zip, zip – snow is gone!  You barely even broke a sweat.  Rest up inside for an hour – do something else on your list – and then, once another two inches has fallen, the driveway is yours!  Rinse and repeat, until the storm is over. 
  4. Buy a snowblower.  Who wants to mess around?  Spend some moolah – then wait ’til the storm has passed.  Your new snowblower might require fossil fuels, but ain’t it better to let some old dinosaur do the work for you?  Better yet, buy a plow truck!  Plow your driveway clean at your convenience.  I fantasize about having my own winter-time pickup, a clunker of a plow truck that gets the job done (and occasionally fetches plywood and sheetrock from the local lumber yard).
  5. Hire someone else to do the work for you.  Time is money, after all.  Can’t you outsource your shoveling?  Of course you can!  You can spend your valuable time doing something else while someone else clears the driveway for you.  Just be prepared to have a clean driveway on their schedule, which might differ from your own.  Unless you pay even more moolah – which is always an option.
  6. Park at the end of your driveway.  Shovel only what’s necessary.  You didn’t really need to park in your garage, did you?  And why shovel a long driveway, when all you need is enough room for your car?  Minimize the effort required, and in the meantime
  7. Just wait for warm weather.  Or a snowblowin’ neighbor to take pity on you.  Or your partner to kick your ass.  After all, that snow WILL disappear all on its own, if you wait long enough, won’t it?  It might take “forever”, but eventually even forever comes to pass.

As you can see, all roads lead to Rome, a Rome that’s completely clear of all snowy obstacles.  You can take the long circuitous route, you can take the quick path, or you can just fly your own personal jet.  It all depends on how much time you really want to take, how much physical effort you want to expend, and how much money you have to throw at the situation.  Just choose your method consciously, and, in the case of a winter-time snowstorm, use your non-shoveling time wisely.  There’s lots of tea to drink, lots of books to read, and MANY shelves to be dusted.  Now off to shovel!  FYI – I’m going with option #1.