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Procrastination isn’t always a vice

First Posted: 6:45 am - June 10th, 2015

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I procrastinate.

I’m not proud of it. I don’t recommend it to others. It drives the people around me crazy. I would be a better person if I didn’t wait as long as I do to get around to things.

I’ll give you some examples. I’m a lawyer. I have written many wills for others. It took me three years to write my own.

When I was in college I took a literature class that required us to read eight novels. I read six of them the night before the final exam.

When I was in high school, I was a wrestler. Like many wrestlers, I lost weight so that I could wrestle in a lower weight class where I could be more competitive. Many days I ran laps in a vinyl sweatsuit and lost up to six pounds on the day of a match.

I know I need to reform. And I will. One of these days.

But, until I do, I will enjoy laughing at those who are overeager as they approach a task.

For example, many years ago a lawyer who took pride in his efficient handling of legal matters went to lunch with a judge. The judge asked him if he had heard that a lady—let’s call her Sara—had died.

The lawyer was stunned. He had known Sara his whole life. He was close to the family. He had always tended to Sara’s legal needs. And he knew that she wanted him to administer her estate upon her death.

So, the lawyer jumped into action. He ordered flowers. He called the utility companies and shut down service so no unnecessary bills would accumulate. He notified her credit card providers and they deactivated the accounts. He informed Social Security that checks should discontinue. Cable TV, phone service, and newspaper subscriptions all came to a screeching halt.

The lawyer was interrupted from the flurry of activity by his secretary.

“There’s a lady on the phone who wants you to sue everybody in town. She says she was in the shower and the water stopped. When she tried to call the water company, her phone was dead. She went to her neighbor’s house and called you because she knew you would get to the bottom of things immediately.”

The lawyer took the call. Sure enough, it was Sara.

Fellow procrastinators, that wouldn’t have happened to us, would it?

Scott Ballard is District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, which includes Fayette, Pike, Spalding and Upson counties.

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