Now that I am officially out of pain and done being a total wisdom tooth wimp….I continue to ponder procrastination . It’s all about where you set the bar. Some people allow it to completely debilitate their lives and others are seeking to eliminate it completely. For me….reality is going to be some where in the middle. Where I am on the procrastination continuum today is not really the point. The point is that every day I continue to make an intentional choice to be aware of it and then BOOM…..make the call. BOOM….pay the bill…..BOOM…..make the appointment. If I rip three band-aids off in a row then I am mentally unstoppable for the rest of the day. It’s so energizing. While recognizing the urge to put things off was the focus of Part 1…. today I wanted to touch briefly on the alternative.
So you need to make a phone call and deliver a message to someone. You are concerned that the person is going to meet your message with resistance at best or hostility at worst. So you decide you need some time to think about how best to handle that conversation. WARNING! WARNING! Consider this a red flag. That sneaky thought that says…..”I should but…..” That voice in your head is lying…it will NOT be easier later. If you are not prepared to make the call… get prepared….right now. Get the file in front of you or the email open, dial and hit send. That is by far the worst part because here is the good news. 99 times out of 100 your message is not even met with resistance let alone hostility. Finding a resolution to the concern (if there is one) is usually easier than you thought it would be and worse case scenario is really that you’d have to agree to disagree with someone. Not so terrible after all. In the very rare instances that a customer, client, colleague is hostile, abusive and totally unreasonable….you just may have to decide if there is value in continuing the association with them. If not….this might be time for a middle school-type break up. It’s me….I’m not your type and it’s time to go our separate ways.
There is a very unpleasant side to procrastination when we let it win. If I had known my wisdom tooth extraction was going to put my life on hold for several days it would have been even more tempting to put it off. If I would have waited for a “good time” …. the cavity could have affected another tooth. It could have meant having two teeth to deal with rather than one. If I waited even longer no doubt I would have had a tooth ache and possibly complicated the procedure with a painful infection. You get the idea… things seem to go from a normal task to a red-hot emergency when procrastination is part of the equation. What should have been a routine extraction is now costly oral surgery requiring more time off work, a lot more pain etc. A phone call that needs to be made today will be urgent tomorrow and a blow up on Wednesday. Do yourself a favor and work each day toward eliminating the procrastination in your life.