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! 🙂