Procrastination

                I have an old notebook laying around the house somewhere.  It has mostly boring basketball information cover to cover.  However, one page is dedicated to a newspaper article.  It has a picture of a man raking leaves off his yard.  Those leaves are from three years ago and the man raking the leaves is the president of the Procrastination Club.  Anyway, the man thinks he is still the president.  Apparently, 15 years ago the man won an election but the Club hasn’t gotten around to the next election.  That is procrastination.  The Club should be proud of its leader.

                I think I qualify for that role.  I’m pretty sure I’m a card carrying member of the Procrastination Club.  I just haven’t checked the website lately.  Just as well.  The Club usually puts off paying the bill for the website, so it’s only up a few months a year.  Too bad, I think I could give the president a run for this important office.

                The first real hint of procrastination in my office is the holder for papers I need to file.  I have great intentions of filing this important information at least once a month.  However, everything comes due the first of the month and filing papers are at the bottom of my priority list.  That holder begins to sag with its contents as the basketball season progresses.  March and the end of the season isn’t that far off.

                As papers begin to be thrown on the pile in no particular organization, a hectic recruiting season overtakes any filing goals.   Spring graduation should provide a window of time to file all this basketball information I really need at my fingertips.  Summer camp registrations take high priority, followed by basketball camps, followed by summer recruiting and you get the picture.  I have now procrastinated 12 months of filing papers into one overloaded office holder.   Finally, by the middle of August, after my family and I have returned from our annual baseball trip, I begin digging into filing all those basketball forms.   I told you I was a leader in the Procrastination Club’s membership.

                Day to day basketball operation falls prey to my ability to procrastinate.  Want a little insight into a typical week in the women’s basketball office?  Game videos of Northwest games must be broken down.  Most of the time, I delegate that responsibility to my assistant coach, Meghan Nelson.  No procrastination with that job.

                Our next opponent’s game film has to be broken down, too.  This one I put on my shoulders.  I am the king of procrastination, but I manage to finish this important job.  For instance, I can find daily jobs that allow me to procrastinate beginning the video reakdown.  Often, Sam’s activities cause me to procrastinate working on video duties during reasonable night-time hours.  After all, winter baseball work for a 12 year old is surely more important than for the father to keep food on the table. 

                It doesn’t happen every video breakdown, but if all this adds up to no work on the opponent scouting report, I have one back-up position; I set alarm for a 4:30 wake-up call.  You can’t believe how alert you can be after sticking your head in a freezer in an attempt to wake up for early morning video breakdown.  Seriously, I do my best work at this time, but I’m afraid my ability to procrastinate is my real motivation in the 4:30 am wake-up call.

                At 7:30, I can hustle Sam, my 12 year old son, to school.  I can crank out statistical analysis for Gentry, my graduate assistant by 9 am.  By 10 am, I can have the x’s and o’s filed on my “Quick Draw” program.  After a shot of caffeine, I’m back at it with the daily practice schedule.  The media luncheon fills the lunch hour on Tuesday’s.  Boy, do I need a nap.  If only I hadn’t procrastinated on Monday.  That’s why I’m a leader in the field of putting things off.

                My daily life definitely takes a hit from my procrastination skills.  Monthly bills should be called 40-day bills.  I know the stack of bills that resides on the kitchen counter (unless we have company) stares at me yelling, “Pay me, pay me!”  I ignore the call for prompt payments until the very last moment.  The water bill is the worst.  I have to go and read the meter down by the road.  I don’t know why that’s so tough to schedule in my busy day, but it sure is fun to put off that bill.

                Easier to procrastinate than monthly bills is the annual rush to get my tax information compiled by April 1.  Roger Wood, the retired Northwest business professor that does my taxes, is very patient with me.  It doesn’t take that long to gather the necessary information, but there is something that just screams, “Don’t touch me until April.”  By the time I get to taxes, I’ve lost all my salary, previous tax, and investment information.  I put a whole bunch of people on “hurry up” mode so the IRS doesn’t penalize my tardiness.  I think I should be rewarded for my procrastination skills, not be given government criticism.

                Maryville Park and Recreation feels the sting of my procrastination.  Every time I park my car, a bag of baseball equipment stares at me.  I am a volunteer coach for Sam’s Park and Rec baseball team.  I swear I don’t declare ownership of the equipment, but it spends a lot more time in my garage than in Park and Rec storage.  I’m sorry Howie (the baseball guy for Park and Rec).

                Michele, my wife, is understanding about my weakness in getting things accomplished.  I don’t think I would call it a “Honey Do” list, but there are a bunch of household jobs that have fallen victim to my procrastination.  There’s the broken window on the storage shed (four years), painting bathroom trim (10 years), fixing the downstairs bathroom (7 years), putting together Michele’s closet (5 years), and organizing Sam’s room (6 years).  If that’s not an All American procrastinator, then show me what qualifies.

                I’m sure Michel e and my assistant coaches could pick out many more things that make me the odds-on favorite for the next president of the Procrastinator Club.  I would proudly accept the position.  I think there is one final piece of procrastination that could put me over the top.  It’s been six months since I have changed the cat litter.  Thank goodness, the litter box is in the garage.

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Gene Steinmeyer

About Gene Steinmeyer

Gene Steinmeyer coached the Northwest Missouri State women’s basketball team for 13 seasons before retiring after 26 years as a collegiate head coach after the 2011-12 season. He retired as the second winningest women’s basketball coach at Northwest as his 2010-11 team won both the MIAA Regular Season and Tournament Championship advancing to the NCAA National Semifinals one game shy of the national championship game.