Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Procrastination, On the Receiving End

Debt's not the only thing that gets kicked down the road
Today has flown by, and I have only a few minutes of consciousness left to attend to this post.  What most needs to be "put to bed" tonight is me.

What's keeping me up?  The procrastination of others.  Which has come back on me.

A large annual project, which I have handled for my community organization for the last couple of years--last year on a totally volunteer basis--is way past its bed time.  

Several months ago, I informed people that I would not be available to shepherd this major undertaking this year.  I was assured that others could, and would take care of it.  They couldn't.  And they didn't.

Not only did the team of individuals not have the requisite skills to handle it, but they didn't even know what those skills were.

So they didn't ask what needed to be done, or figure out what needed to be done.  And when they finally called me, in desperation, to pull it all together, we were looking at the deadline in the rearview mirror.  

I spent the better part of this evening, after working much of the day, retrieving vital files from email trash, and attempting to reconstruct the data needed to complete the work.  I will probably pull this one out of the fire (enough metaphors in the mix?), but it won't be pretty.

For those of us who are prone to putting things off, it is probably a fortuitous corrective that we ourselves occasionally end up holding the procrastination bag.  And the procrastinators who put us in that position are, by rights, entitled to our compassion--along with the irritation we can't completely suppress.

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