Day 13 of 365 Tiny Changes
I’ll admit it. I’m a professional procrastinator. Well, I don’t get paid for doing it, so maybe I’m not a professional, but if I did, I’d be earning a 6 figure income.
I didn’t used to be a procrastinator. I used to really stay on top of the things I needed to accomplish. I think the turning point came when I had kids. With kids, nothing ever goes as planned, especially when they’re toddlers. I think it was then that I started pushing “things” off.
I think work also trained me to be a procrastinator. I began to notice that a lot of “Priority ONE” issues at 10 AM, became “Priority NOT”, by 3 in the afternoon. If I was patient, the issues either solved themselves or didn’t really matter any more.
I also found that when given an assignment by a boss, especially one that was given to several different people, say a report of some kind, the first one to get it done always seemed to have to do it over. The boss either wasn’t clear with what they wanted or they had changed their mind some time between the assignment date and the due date. If I let others be the guinea pig, I only had to do the report once.
So for me procrastination has paid off, sometimes.
Until now. Guy, my domestic partner, works for a company that has a habit of being bought and sold. He has left the house for work every morning, gone to the same address, sat at the same desk, for something like 25 years. During that time he has worked for 5 different companies. On December 1st it will be six.
We found out this past Monday, that we will not have any type of medical insurance with either company during the month of December. They gave us notice of 6 business days! By the time Guy got this information to me and it had actually sunk in, I had 5 business days to get appointments scheduled. Around a Holiday!
Holy crap! I had been putting off all of my Dr. appointments until some time in December. I thought about just letting them slide until I realized that we had met our total family out of pocket deductible of $2000 for this year, and we have no idea what type of coverage we will have for next year. I had to get these appointments done, now.
I did discover that nothing lights a fire under doctors appointment schedulers like the fear of insurance cancellation. Here is what I was able to accomplish.
Tuesday, 11/22/11, called the eye doctor at 9:00 AM, had an appointment for myself at 2:00 PM. When I was at the appointment they were able to schedule an appointment for Guy at 5:00 PM, giving him time to get there from his 3:00 Dentist appointment. Glasses are ordered, eyesight safe for another year.
Tuesday, 11/22/11, called my primary care physician, to get a referral for my baseline colonoscopy. Appointment scheduled for 10:00 AM on Wednesday, 11/23/11.
Tuesday, 11/22/11, called the Woman’s Center at the hospital and was able to schedule a mammogram for Friday, 11/25/11, at 10:30 AM.
Tuesday, 11/22/11, called the Woman’s Health Center around the corner, and was able to schedule my annual female parts inspection for 9:30 AM next Monday, 11/28/11.
Wednesday, 11/23/11, saw my primary care physician, obtained the referral I needed. Scheduled blood tests for this Friday, 11/25/22, , before my mammogram.
Wednesday, 11/23/11, called the Gastroenterologist and scheduled the colonoscopy screening for 6:30 AM next Tuesday, 11/29/11.
Whew! 8 doctor appointments in 5 days, with a whole day of being insured to spare. Am I good or what? Now the hope is that everything comes out sparkling clean.
When I really put my mind to getting something accomplished, I can do it. When others are given the proper incentive to help me, they will.
As I reflect over my past, I realize I have probably lost more than I have gained my procrastinating. I wonder how much more income I would have had if I had returned all of my phone calls in a timely manner? I wonder how many more opportunities I might have been offered had I gotten to some of those meetings early enough to chat and get to know the other participants? I wonder how much more successful I would be if I didn’t feel so bogged down with all the unfinished projects in my life?
I don’t want to procrastinate my life away. I don’t want my epitaph to read, “Here lies the worlds best procrastinator. She could have accomplished a lot with her life, but she waited too long to begin.”
I can’t just say, NO MORE PROCRASTINATING, and expect it to never happen again. There are always going to be those things that I don’t want to do, so I will want to push them as far in the future as possible.
What I can do, is this. I can modify my “to do” list from just a long list of things to choose from, to a list with target dates/deadlines.
Tiny Change 13: Give myself viable deadlines for all projects.
This should help me to stay on track and not let things like my health slide unwittingly into the future, never to be heard from again.
Any other ideas or tricks you have for stopping the disease of procrastination, I would be excited to hear about them.