It would be well to remember that tomorrow will be today tomorrow, and so on. Too often we procrastinate and end up doing our work at the same time each week – at the last minute.
One of the many good things about email and smart phones is that we learn to respond with immediacy, answering without delay and with few excuses, with at least acknowledgement and an interim word, demonstrating, as one of my teachers memorably instructed so very long ago, that the best way to get something done is to begin – and right away. Adding Facebook, Twitter and the multiple telecom providers with which we all have accounts and addresses might add paths for distraction but that pales with the opportunities for efficient dialog, ready convenience too often not pounced on.
Yes it can be appropriate to think through a reply after we have let the question steep a bit in our brains or hopefully researched a more complete response. But to fail to answer, even to acknowledge in the here and now is to risk forgetting to take action, frustrating the one and unnecessarily burdening your mind’s need to remember to answer. Generally, procrastination is more a matter of weakened effort, less so of ability.
A British lord famously advised his son never to put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Yet is that wholly so? Perhaps, if the delay is needless but there is a “but”. Procrastinators may well get more done than do efficient, neat desk, clean laptop types; they might be less straight forward, but they do get the job done with heightened creativity or so they often might believe or convince themselves. Having lots to do recalls the adage that a busy person gets things done, after-all.
Rather my squabble is directed at the many who protract and postpone frankly because they are preoccupied and maybe not so concerned to act with alacrity, with the dispatch expected by the proposer. As such, they are less concerned about prioritizing than appropriate, unreasonably persuaded and so self-decided that, anyway, they will remember in time, will follow-up. Trouble is that one is too likely to forget, to follow-through and at times to be untimely, at best. Follows that one’s mind at various levels becomes over-burdened with threads of thoughts continually focused on not- forgetting to fulfill, even if ultimately that indeed is what comes to pass, even if not intended.
Counterintuitively, as suggested, procrastinators do have a reputation for getting the job done. Even if they have to play catch-up, at times, that’s ok, they may submit, because while putting off something they are doing something else, after-all. Hopefully, one procrastinates not out of laziness but rather because there is so much on our plate, and isn’t that a comparatively good thing? What might be self-fought is the tendency to day dream and maybe too to overcome a tendency among many of us to go off track out of an inquiring mind that isn’t focused on timely deliverables. You receive an email that mentions Turkmenistan which leads to a Google search and eventually to “forget” to make an appointment or to call someone to resolve something.
How often I frustrate another by “failing” to follow-up, how often need I remember to repeat a request, unfulfilled, often with the likelihood that with my failing memory I also forget to ask for completion, perhaps more than once and perchance forever? Not following-through worries and needlessly overcrowds the minds of both the inquirer and the asked. I fear this tendency is ascendant here. We should be aware of this, at least.