Procrastination has met its guilt ridden match—Precrastination! Now there is social stigma associated with being too efficient. Ironically I can relate.
Back in the early 90s I worked at a small local CPA firm and the construction industry was doing its usual dip, so there wasn’t a lot of work to do in my area. I was responsible for all of the financial statement audits and there was another division of the CPA firm that prepared all of the taxes. Apparently the Tax Partner was swamped and couldn’t get all the tax returns done timely. Since I was in the audit division I had no idea what was going on in the tax department, so I was spending my spare time on continuing professional education.
The Tax Partner complained to the General Partner that I wasn’t doing “anything” to which I said, “Give me some tax returns. I have prepared taxes before. I will help!” Of course I thought I was helping until I finished three personal tax returns by noon and I was promptly told, “You did that on purpose!” “Did what on purpose?” I said, thinking I would get praise not condemnation. “You just did those tax returns so fast just to make a point…” Trying not to laugh at the craziness of what was happening, I explained, “I used to do taxes, so it really wasn’t a big deal, do you have anymore?” “No, you’ve done enough…” OMG sometimes people just want to make things harder than they need to be and they really don’t want someone to come help them, be more efficient, or figure out a better way to do it.
So when it comes to this new thing for people to feel guilty about—Precrastination—don’t fall for it. Make every moment count, big or little, do what you do with purpose and passion and don’t put it off out of fear of precrastination and what others think of you. In my case above, it turned out I stopped working for that firm within a month after the above incident and went on to work at a very large local CPA firm where I was not only happily very busy, but where being efficient was rewarded in the way of promotions and bonuses. I also met my future client, friend, and employer/biggest client that changed my world in ways I could never have imagined. Had I stayed in the other small firm and tried to fit in, who knows where I would be now? Probably not as far as I am today…
Sherri Sue Fisher, author of TimerOrganizer and TimerDiet