It's Tax Day in America so it's a good day to write about procrastination. Thankfully, Uncle Sam understands we all tend to put things off and our deadline is actually the 18th this year. And we have also been given the latitude to file an extension.
April 15 is also an important day in my family because my son was born on this date when I was teaching at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
I've cherished the thought that God allowed Landon to be born on April 15 to remind me of tax day. Accounting deadlines are rarely on the radar screen of a marketer. My son and I try to always play golf on our birthdays, but we missed this year and we will have to put it off until next year. Happy birthday, son. (Yes, he ALWAYS reads my column.)
I read the "procrastinators creed" in an article I found while putting off writing about putting things off. I won't share the entire creed but there are few points worth noting:
(I didn't write these three points.)
1. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given. In the classroom, I learned that deadlines were only suggestions. Student work would not be completed until the night before it was due regardless of when I set the due date.
I've learned that people set artificial deadlines because they know the work will be late, but it will actually be on time for the real deadline.
It seems that every deadline has a snooze button.
Every due date can be moved, except of course, pay day.
2. If at first I don't succeed, there's always next year. I often use the analogy of what I expect when I step into an airplane. I'm thinking of one thing—arriving at my destination. Once in a while I even think my luggage might get there with me.
If I bought a ticket to Chicago, I'm not happy when we land in St. Louis. "Well, sir, we got you halfway." Obviously, I won't accept any other landing place. Please, land the plane as promised.
I define success as goal achievement. Goals drive our work today. Goals inspire us to not settle for less.
Land the plane in Chicago.
3. Procrastinators believe in miracles. "I wasn't able to get that done but I believe God will come through for me. Something great will happen."
"I'm going to sit at my desk and wait for the phone to ring. I know the Lord will send me a buyer."
I love people who have this kind of faith—faith to believe God will work a miracle in the midst of my slothitude. (Please put off looking up that word.)
The Bible seems very clear on this topic:
"Having done all, stand."
Procrastinators want to stand, having done little.
Following Jesus has helped me to reduce procrastination. There is a sense of urgency in kingdom work. Daily bread doesn't hang around for a new sunrise.
The Holy Spirit calls us to "come."
I think "now" is strongly suggested.
The IRS agrees.
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