Saturday, November 13, 2010


Never let it be said that procrastination doesn’t work; or at least never let it be said right now. Let’s wait a week or so and see how things pan out before we come to any decisions.

I make this claim about the value of deferred action not a priori; rather, I have several piece of empirical evidence from the last week. I’ll get around to sharing them; just give me a moment.

For instance, a few months ago, a student asked me to write a recommendation for her. It was due later this month and I’d been putting it off and off, knowing that I ought to get around to it and berating myself for failing to do so. Last week, I was almost ready to get started on it when, lo and behold, I got an email from the student telling me she’d decided not to apply, after all, to the program she was going to. Hooray! No need to write anything. Had I been more on top of things, though, I’d have spent a good couple of hours crafting the thing when I could have been doing other things, like looking at bike porn on the internet or even taking a nap.

Or the other day, I got an email from one of the higher ups at my school asking me call right away to talk about some sort of emerging crisis that needed to be dealt with immediately. But Jen and I had been out to lunch all afternoon and the message had languished in my in-box for almost four hours. I took another 45 minutes drinking coffee to get my head back on straight and then made the call. Guess what? The storm had passed without my involvement, and I still got to get kudos for checking in.

I’m sure I have some other examples I could write about; I’ll get around to that soon. But first, let me think about it.


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