My least favorite time of day is the late afternoon, the hours in which we always seem to be locked in a brutal battle over homework. There is a lot of it, and despite our extensive experimentation we’ve learned that it does not get done on its own.
Here is the other thing I know about homework: The urgency to complete it is directly correlated to its due date. The longer the period of time given for its completion, the less urgent it will seem until that fateful deadline approaches.
Sound familiar to anyone? I have burned the midnight oil plenty of times trying to complete something that is urgently due. It’s not just procrastination, it’s also driven by the fact that we are all BUSY. Why do today what we can put off until the night before it’s due? And I know I’m not alone. Here are a few of the most commonly delayed tasks I see when I work with businesses:
- Routine bookkeeping tasks
- Gathering information for tax filings
- Conducting employee performance reviews
- Filing trademark or other legal documents
- Following up with referrals
- Updating out-of-date websites and marketing material
All are important tasks but all face deadlines that can push for a while – even if a delay is detrimental to the business. And some of these tasks actually get harder to complete as time goes on, not easier.
Of course with kids, you’re not battling other work tasks but music practice, sports, and other activities, all of which help to develop a well-rounded kid (as well as the not-so-productive activities like video games and TV). But I don’t want to get that call from school so I will make sure the homework gets done – even on the days when even I would rather sit and watch Scooby-Doo.
Where do you tend to procrastinate? Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org – if I use them I’ll feature your business.