Ask my lovely wife if I’m a procrastinator and she’ll answer without hesitation, “Of course. He’s a big fat one!” She’s been asking me to fix a frozen faucet in one of our bathrooms for over a year. She took over the family bill paying because the late fees got out of hand when that was my duty. And she constantly harps about my desk in the office. “When are you going to clean it?” I’ve been asked a thousand times. Now that we just replaced the office flooring, it has become even more important that everything looks good. I guess my desk clashes with her sense of order. Personally, I can’t understand how a couple of old baseball trophies, some outdated trade journals, a half-eaten sandwich or two, some empty soda cans and few extra papers can bother her so badly. I remind her that Einstein had a messy desk too. Unfortunately, she grew up in Princeton and knows all about Einstein. “He walked around town in his slippers and he never wore socks, even to church,” she shoots back.
However, ask someone else, my buddies for instance, if I procrastinate and they’ll answer differently. “He’s the first one up when we go fishing, he’s never late for a tennis match, and he hasn’t forgotten to bring the beer yet. So No, he’s downright dependable!”
And finally, ask my clients the same question and most of them will answer, “Gary’s always on time for our appointments and he always shows up well-prepared. He’s pretty darn good at getting our claims resolved. So as far as we know, he’s not guilty of procrastination at all.”
I guess it depends on the task at hand, whether we are defined as “procrastinator” or “Johnny –on-the-spot”. Truth be told, all of us put off certain things. The more we dislike a task, the less interest we have in attacking it. In college, my wife always managed each assignment and completed it well in advance. No cramming for her. Everything on time and in bed by 10:00 PM. I was the opposite. I liked schoolwork well enough, but my philosophy was to wait until 10:00 PM, and then when everything quieted down and there weren’t any distractions, I could concentrate on the task at hand. I’ve always been good under pressure. A time of “super concentration” I call it. It has worked for me all my life, except for the rare times that something unexpected popped up during my periods of super concentration. These were “unfortunate incidents” to me, but my wife points to them as evidence of procrastination. Well, I say tomato and she says tomata.
These days I watch our kids with a certain amount of fascination. It’s easy to see elements of me as well as elements of my wife in each of them. They’ve already accomplished good things in their young lives. It’s probably a good thing that my wife’s organization and my concentration are balanced well in them. They’ll go further than either of us.
Have a great weekend – don’t put it off!
The Fishing Guy