For a long time, I’ve been meaning to write about procrastination, but I never got around to it until an old friend brought up the subject last week. There just never seems to be enough time left over after work and family activities. There’s always something else that has to be done.
Then there are all the other alternatives that take less effort and give more immediate gratification. I could watch a movie, go for a 2nd or 3rd swim of the day, do some extra sets in the weight room, hang out with friends, take my road bike out for a spin, or read a few chapters from a great novel.
I could also keep busy doing those mindless tasks that have to be done anyway – putting in a few loads of laundry, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, and looking for other things to fix around the house.
But I don’t like that nagging, vaguely guilty feeling of procrastination. It holds me back from feeling completely relaxed and at ease. It prevents me from enjoying all the fun things I would rather do with my time.
That feeling is not unlike the feeling a physician gets if he’s not quite done with the last patient before moving on to the next. If the diagnosis doesn’t quite fit or there seemed to be some crucial information missing, I won’t feel comfortable unless I take the extra time to review the chart and call my patient back.
Next: Physicians are no strangers to procrastination.