Procrastination Killed the Chickens

02 Jun

We all know that “curiosity killed the cat,” and “an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.” I even know that “Video killed the radio star.” But I learned a valuable and expensive lesson this morning when I found that “Procrastination killed the Chickens.”

My wife Kate has raised chickens for several years. She took a brief hiatus from it when our son was getting married, but she decided this past winter that she wanted to get some chicks and raise them again. I LOVE the fresh chicken eggs, so I was all for it. She ordered them (they actually come in a small box in the mail-25 chicks in a box about 8 by 10 inches), and she told me that they would be here around the end of April. She also told me that there were a few repairs that needed to be done to the coop and asked me to take care of them when I could-preferably before the chicks arrived.

The chicks arrived on April 25th, and, while I had made some of the repairs to the coop, I had not gotten them all done, most notably, a gap in the nest box door that was caused by the warping of the wood I used to build the original coop five years ago…

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

This morning, I awoke to find my six-year old daughter in tears. She told me that “all the chickies DIED…” My heart sank…I asked my wife what happened (stupid question). She said that when she went out to feed them, they were all dead. Something “got in somewhere.” In my gut, I knew where that “somewhere” was, and it was pretty much confirmed when I went out to investigate the slaughter. There were dead chickens everywhere, but, in the nest box where I had failed to fix the offending gap, was a scene of carnivorous carnage that turned my stomach. I had my answer…

I was responsible for this.

After apologizing to my wife and comforting my distraught daughter, I returned to the coop and cleaned up the mess. I have spent the last several hours repairing the chicken coop…and all the while, all I could think was this:

“You procrastinated again! Why do you keep DOING this?!?!?”

Isn’t that the way it is when we procrastinate? When we don’t want to do something, we put it off until later…and then later…and then later again, until finally, either we drag ourselves through the effort to accomplish something that could have been done so much sooner, or, worse, we end up paying the consequences for our inaction.

I have probably paid hundreds, if not thousands, of extra dollars throughout my life because of my procrastination. The sad thing is that my inaction didn’t just cost ME (in terms of extra time, money, and effort), but it also cost my wife. Five weeks of hard work was wasted. It cost my daughter emotionally. It cost my son, who took care of the chickens every day while we were on vacation.

Are you a procrastinator? Are there things on your to-do list that you keep pushing back “until tomorrow?” If there is, I want you to take a moment and think about the possible consequences of delaying action on each one of them. Then, choose one of them, take the next step, and get that item done. You’ll be glad you did.

And, unlike me, you probably won’t have to clean up any bloody, headless chicken corpses.

Have a nice day! 🙂


Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Procrastination, Self-discipline


Tags: , ,

12 responses to “Procrastination Killed the Chickens

  1. Rob Shook

    June 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve found a great tool – it works on the web, and also integrates with the Chrome browser, and works on iPhones and Androids – called Toodledo. It makes to-do list management pretty easy, both for near-term items, as well for things that repeat every month, year, 3 years, etc. Worth checking out if you think a tool would help!

    • jbecker007

      June 22, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Thanks, Rob: I am trying Toodledo. I like very much how it numerically ranks my to-do list. So often, I have trouble deciding what to do first. This app has taken away a lot of that angst.

  2. wesley crusher

    June 3, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Guess the chicken should have crossed the road….

  3. Jack

    June 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

    sorry dad but that is really funny

  4. Amy L. Sullivan (@AmyLSullivan1)

    June 7, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Found you on Jeff G’s list. Bloodly, headless chicken corpses? Whew. At this point, I’m not seeing any! Fun clicking around and finding all these new voices.

    • jbecker007

      June 22, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Hi, Amy! Have you found any other interesting blogs to follow from Jeff’s writing challenge?

  5. MarinaSofia

    June 7, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Uh-oh, been there, done that. Not quite with chickens exactly, but with insurance, documents, taxes, accounts, just about anything else. And I’ve paid and paid (mostly fines).
    I notice you have signed up for Jeff Goins’ challenge – did you get up early today to write? And how did it go? Are you going to post anything on your blog about that?
    Good luck with surviving the summer holidays (I feel like that myself, quite often).

    • jbecker007

      June 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Thanks for the comment Marina! I didn’t get up as early as I wanted to, but I did write today…I just posted another blog. I’m enjoying this new community. Thanks for your comment!

    • jbecker007

      June 22, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Hi, Marina! I like your blog title…it sounds very much like why I chose my title, “The Marginal Writer.” I try to fit writing into the margins of my life. I am, however, considering a name change. I do not want to “squeeze in” my writing. I want it to become a central part of my life. So I am brainstorming a name change. Fortunately, I have not gone too far down the branding path, so I will not be re-inventing the wheel! Have you found any other interesting blogs to follow from Jeff’s writing challenge?

      • MarinaSofia

        June 23, 2012 at 12:36 am

        Yes! I completely agree: don’t allow writing to be marginal. I have done that for far too long. Now I am obsessed with it, and yes, my house may be less clean, my business may be less busy and my children less carefully fed, but at least they have a happy, unfrustrated Mum now!

      • jbecker007

        June 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

        I do enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I get when I finish writing a piece. Keep writing, Marina! I’m sure your kids will appreciate it in the long run!


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