I consider myself an expert on procrastination. I could write a book on it . . . but it’s not at the top of my list.
Let’s face it. We all procrastinate something.
As a conscientious physician, I don’t delay anything that could compromise patient care. I finish typing my clinical notes before I see another patient. I maintain good systems to maintain high safety standards in my clinic, and I follow through on investigations and referrals.
I’m conscientious with my kids, too. Both of my teenaged boys have had the “birds & the bees” talks. My oldest had it twice; the first time, I didn’t realize that he was listening to his iPod until he got out of the car.
I tend to put off some (but not all) of my dreams. I would like to finish writing the book that I’ve been working on (in my free time) for the past 5 years and the novel I’ve been working on here and there during vacations over the past 10 years. I’ve been waiting for more free time.
I keep a procrastination list. It’s like a to-do list, but I don’t fool myself into thinking that everything on that list is likely to be done. When my list gets too long, I ruthlessly scratch off the items at the bottom.
I’m quite sure that I will never learn to speak or read Chinese in my lifetime.
And (with my wife smiling in the background) I’ve given up on my dreams of Olympic gold.
What’s on your procrastination list? Is it something you really ought to do (like paying that credit card balance or feed the kids breakfast)? Is it an old dream that you’ve outgrown?
Next: The Art of Deliberate Procrastination