A Timely Reminder

I make no apologies for this reminder.

Right this minute, I KNOW you are procrastinating. I know this because it is the 12th of December. From pretty much this first Monday of the month through until the first Monday of the New Year, you will be using the expression “Let’s leave it until after Christmas” to justify not doing something, today, that would be better done, today. Even the two minute joblets.

Let me tell you what that means.

It means that all those joblets will mass, like a cancerous tumour, to give you nasty headaches from the 2nd of January, that’s what. That is because while your heart is telling you it will be alright, and your mind is justifying it, the world, the people in it and fate are all conspiring to have accidents, commit crimes, engage in arguments, overdo the alcohol (leading to the previous three problems) and generally create more problems to add to the ones whose solutions you are deferring for ‘later’ when you have some time.

You do it, the CPS does it, the Courts do it.

And then they all blame each other for their own procrastination strategies, all of which are based on the ‘good intent’ of managing their current workload better by slowing down the rate at which they deal with it. (Breathe.)

Every decision you put off, and every bogus action you add to someone else’s task list, doesn’t mean less work. It just means the same work gets done later.

And Christmas, like no other time of year, seems to cause more of this activity. And for the life of me I can’t think why.

You can’t shop for presents while you put the work off. You can’t put the decorations up at home, you can’t go to the pub any earlier. Your work day stays the same length right up until, and occasionally including Christmas Eve (where the occasional early finish may happen. Yet there you are, on the telephone, making an ‘appointment’ for January the umpteenth. And if you’re like the worst offenders, you cater for the deferred by making those appointments later in January than you otherwise might have (unethically) done.

Which means if you have a busy Christmas they’ll get done in February, and if you have a slack, uneventful one, you find you have nothing productive planned, anyway. Which is a paradox but you can’t rely on people behaving during the festive month-that-used-to-be-two-days.

You know, as do I (because I did it), that doing the work as soon as reasonably practicable after it arises is Best Practice. Always was, and always will be.

So keep your action lists up to date, do the small jobs the instant they come about, and plan blocks of time for the bigger stuff. Get them done as soon as you can because the next great big huge and humungous challenge/project/Major Crime is approaching, and your eyes will be ripped off the ball.

This is best practice because you know that those little tasks will still need doing, will become urgent because another department has decreed that their figures are more important than your service. And then instead of doing something you enjoy doing, you’ll be tied up involved in executing what you could have done before Christmas.

You know it makes sense.

Happy Christmas, folks!

Published by policetimemanagement

30 year policing veteran and time management authority. Now I've combined the two.

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