I’ve pretty much given up making lists. If something doesn’t fall in the three most important things I need to do today, it doesn’t get listed or remembered for that day. I call this mental efficiency. I’ve always been a sucker for efficiency. Get the most done in the least amount of time. Laziness is the mother of efficiency.
I used to have up to a dozen motivational or instructional books on efficiency, getting things done and prioritizing on my shelf. I read them, marked them for future use and even taught coworkers.
Procastination has set on my front doorstep all my life, unless the task was something I loved doing. I had to beat it with a stick to keep it from coming inside. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. I know my grades would have been a bit better in high school and college if procrastination had stayed on the porch. My mom was always frustrated with me because my energy level was a bit below her “we lived through the Great Depression” energy level.
Since retirement I’ve been faced with deciding the difference between procrastination and laziness.
Merriam-Webster says procrastination is to put off intentionally and habitually something that should be done.
From the same dictionary there is this definition for lazy: disinclined to activity or exertion; not energetic or vigorous.
I guess I can finally admit: I’m procastilazy. There aren’t as many things on my To Do List nowadays. I like it like that. Some things get put off; some get forgotten.
Do I wish I had all the nervous, flamboyant energy of yesteryear as a pastor? No, I’d wear myself out at my age. It suited me then, but not now. I used to be able to just about keep everyone in the church happy, most of the time and still get important things done.
Do I wish I still lived and died by the Franklin Covey Planner as a church fund raising consultant? No way! If you live by the FCP, you could die by the FCP at my age. I was so good at filling that sucker with commitments, sometimes I travelled to 5 different cities in 5 different days. I still marvel at all the airline miles we used for vacations in those years.
Do I long for those days when grieving families seemed to appear at the funeral home door in droves and I would swallow all their emotions, fears and complexities and return them as calm and order and a path to follow in the very short term? No, not really. I have to admit, I simply don’t have that kind of emotional or mental agility anymore.
Three vocations in one lifetime. All of them highly stressful. Some people would carry all of that into retirement and find ways to keep creating the nervous energy it takes to be all things to all kinds of people. I’m not that guy. My life has been so full of expectations, skills, planning and leadership that I’m ready for some procrastilazy. It fits me just fine.