Friday, March 27, 2015

The power of procrastination

I'm curious to know if there is a term for someone who is selective about their procrastination. I have noticed that I seem to be two different people in terms of getting things done. One of these days, I will actually try and figure out how I subconsciously decide whether to procrastinate or not....but I can do that some other time.

The combination of growing up fixing things with my dad and the numerous years I spent working in a hardware store has given me a fix-it-now mentality. If something "big" breaks around the house, I get excited about the project and get it done. On the other hand, when something small needs fixing, I tend to let it slide way too long. I know of three drawers, two doors, a table and a chair that have minor repairs needed (for months now) and still remain broken. The important lesson I want you to learn today though is that there is power in procrastination. Sometimes tackling those items on the to-do list right away can do more harm than help. Here's an example:

A couple of years ago, we had the wonderful experience of a leaking water heater. Since I worked in a hardware store at the time, I had not only the knowledge and skills to replace the water heater with ease, but also a nice employee discount to purchase it. It started leaking on a Sunday, so I bought a new water heater the next day at work knowing I had Tuesday off to install it. The project went as smooth as silk and we had a new, leak-free water heater in our house.

It was great being able to tackle that project and complete it in a timely manner. Now for the bad part about not procrastinating.... About a week later, there was a puddle of water at the base of the water heater. Turns out the condensate line from the furnace was plugged and overflowed, leaving a puddle of water under the nearby water heater. That problem was solved with three dollars worth of tubing. The problem it created was that now I am always second guessing whether the water heater was leaking or if it was the condensate line the whole time.

There is a valuable lesson to learn here. There is power in procrastination. OK, maybe not really, but I am going to see how I can best use this to my advantage when I don't feel like fixing something the second it breaks. Until next time....