“‘I have time’ should be the guiding word especially of dressage riders during the entire course of training and remind him of the fact that the goal of the classical art of riding is to be attained only by the gradual increase of demands.” – Col. Alois Podhajsky
Col. Podhasky’s advice was written with a specific application in mind, but I’ve found that it applies quite neatly in many other areas of living, including, but not limited to: raising children, training employees, personal development, growing a business and learning a musical instrument (or any new art for that matter!).
The procrastinator misapplies this notion, feeling he can put everything off until later. Used correctly, “I have time” is a state of active tranquility – active in the sense that work that can be done is done and tranquil from the dual recognition that: (1) all matters in life are a process of varying duration and (2) there is no sense worrying about what cannot yet be done.
The correct application of “I have time” also requires wise management of the process. To be useful and progressive, the gradual increase of demands must be well-timed and clearly articulated. Mixed signals will confuse and retard the process, while the right application of pressure, that is, the intervention requiring the least amount of energy for the desired effect goes a long way to ensuring steady forward movement.
Remember: you have time! Don’t rush, but don’t dawdle either. Rushing to get things done or “cramming it up your fanny” as my wife’s grandmother was known to say is just as destructive as “cramming” in the traditional sense (because you put off action to the last moment). When you cram, you condense factors that cannot and should not be consolidated and you make compromises that you would not otherwise make.
Col. Podhajsky made the following observation with respect to training horses, though it is not much of a stretch to see how the same would apply to any endeavor: “A ruthlessly condensed training only leads to a general superficiality, to travesties of the movements, and to a premature unsoundness of the horse. Nature cannot be violated.” (1965; translation: T. Ritter)