Procrastination solves problems

   There. I did it. I licked the envelope myself and stuck it in the outgoing mail basket.
   Donít get me wrong. Iím not bragging about licking an envelope all by myself. Iím bragging about setting a new personal record for procrastination.
   The envelope I so brazenly licked contained a letter and some supporting information I was sending to an insurance adjustor regarding the damages my business incurred just the other day.
   And it was the other day. To be exact, it was 244 other days ago.
   For 244 days the request for information sat on my desk. For 244 days the monumental task stared at me from the "Things to do" page of my pocket calendar.
   Those who would scoff at a mere 244 days of postponing a chore had best remember two things when challenging me, the King of Procrastination, with tales of their own delays; 1) the letter, once sent, would result in a $350 refund to me and, 2) it took a grand total of 22 minutes to compile the information and write the letter.
   Anyone can procrastinate over something that will cost them money or will take an inordinate amount of valuable time. It takes a real master of the art to take 244 days to perform a minor task that will make money.
   Yes, I am the King.
   All procrastinators must bow to me, but Iíll understand if they never get around to it.
   I really donít know why I passed over this particular chore day after day. Part of it stems from my general distaste of the insurance industry. Even though they were trying to give me money, I seemed to subconsciously (and illogically) wish theyíd go away.
   The other reason was that this matter was the mop-up following the payment of a much larger claim. I had assumed the matter was complete until this minor additional refund was brought to my, ahem, attention. Having closed the book on a distasteful incident, I subconsciously (and illogically) didnít seem to want to open it again.
   But procrastination, like all true arts, needs no explanations. Itís simply a sixth sense as to when to practice it. I might have blown it on the insurance refund incident, but generally Iím on target.
   For example, consider the many times I have heard a strange sound coming from the engine of my car. Type "A" personalities rush to have it fixed, and then congratulate themselves on tackling the problem before it became a bigger one.
   Not me. Instead I will get in the car every day, start it up, hear the sound, and remind myself for the 318th time that I should get it fixed.
   Six months later, the noise miraculously disappears! And I didnít spend a dime!
   In business, procrastination pays even bigger dividends. More than once I have had an invoice on my desk that for one reason or another I didnít feel comfortable about paying. I could have called the supplier and worked out an equitable solution, but that gave me an unpleasant feeling.
   So I procrastinated. And next thing you know, the supplier goes out of business!
   Or consider how well procrastination works when handling employees. I canít count the times some of my Type "A" managers have come to me with sordid tales of a lazy, good-for-nothing employee that they want to fire before the day is over.
   Yes, that employee is a problem, I will tell the manager. We will have to do something about him. Heís got to go. But not today. When? Soon.
   Three and a half years later, the employee comes in and announces heís quitting, saving me not only on unemployment insurance, but also avoiding another unpleasant experience.
   If thatís not enough to convince anyone of the wonders and benefits of procrastination, consider the institution of marriage.
   The divorce rate has increased so rapidly in the last few decades simply because people forgot how to procrastinate.
   At the first sign of a problem, the "Aís" head straight to marriage counseling and, realizing their marriage will never be like their finely tuned car, are dumping their spouses left and right.
   Iíd rather procrastinate. If I didnít, I estimate I would be getting married for the 17th time this spring, and always to the same woman.
   Yes, thereís no doubt about it. Itís time for the Type Aís to make room for the Type ZZZzzzÖís.


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