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
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
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
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.