I am a horrible procrastinator. It was always a problem in school, I have trouble with it at work, and it’s getting in the way of my personal relationships, too. I was supposed to write a recommendation for a friend and former co-worker’s graduate school application, and I lied and told her I did it. The form is still sitting on my desk and she’s wondering why the school is saying they don’t have it yet. I don’t want to tell her I lied but I’m so busy, I can’t find the time to sit down and write it.
Sometimes when you put off a specific task like that, there’s a reason.
For instance, not that I know anyone like this, but if a person was supposed to be finishing her grad school thesis, and is at the point where she’s considering having another child for the sole purpose of further delaying the incredibly daunting task in front of her, she might want to pause for a moment and consider the true reasons behind the procrastination.
First possible scenario for you: maybe you don’t really want to recommend this friend and co-worker. Maybe she has a hideous personality flaw that would make her a terrible art historian or physician’s assistant or whatever it is she’s trying to do. If this is the case, call her right now and say, “I’m so sorry; I have the application on my desk and it’s been staring me in the face for weeks. I just can’t find the time to do it. Can you ask someone else?” She’ll be awfully mad, but you can’t really blame her. And you’ll feel relieved.
Second possible scenario: You have terrible time-management skills. I have been able to promote myself from a full-on procrastinator to a Last-Minute Sally. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. Sure, it’s unfortunate for my family…I’m like Mommie Dearest mixed with an unmedicated six-year-old boy with ADD with a touch of herion addict going through withdrawal.
Unpleasant, but I never miss a deadline. I’m able to achieve this with the effective one-two punch of lists and calendars. I’m a fanatic about it. I make lists of everything that needs to be done amd write deadlines down in not one, but TWO calendars. Sometimes items remain on the list for a year or two, but eventually, it all gets done. Lists help you take baby steps (think Bill Murray in the awesome movie What About Bob?), which helps you not get overwhelmed by the big picture.
My friend is always late. I love her, but she can never be anywhere on time and I’m sick of waiting for her. She always has an excuse of some major drama that made her late, but the whole thing is wearing thin. I don’t even want to make plans with her anymore because I dread waiting.
Chronically late people know exactly what they’re doing. Whether they intend to or not, they’re sending you a message: my time is more important than yours. They’re impervious to lecturing, cajoling, and gentle requests for punctuality. It’s really, really frustrating to deal with, because what can you say when you’re like, “Hey, you’re late,” and she’s like, “My son exploded the cat in the microwave and I was up all night because my husband has the flu so I was exhausted and couldn’t go anywhere without coffee but the coffeemaker is broken so I had to heat some in the microwave and I couldn’t clean it until Target opened because I ran out of Spring Rain-scented Lysol and they don’t sell it at the Grand Union down the street, they only have Citrus scent, which I’m severely allergic to.”
If she’s fun and nice and you have a good time hanging out with her, and she’s worth the hassle, you’ll have to learn how to manage her. I hate when people lie and give an earlier time to meet, because that’s just enabling the inconsiderate twit and making yourself complicit in the whole aggravating scenario. If it’s something that has a set start time, like a movie, just go ahead without her. She’ll show up eventually. If it’s just a general get-t0gether, call her the day you’re going to see her and say, “I’ve got a lot to do today, so I’m going to go do errands before we meet for coffee. Call me when you’re leaving the house so I know when to meet you.” Worst-case scenario is that she gets there before you and might have to wait a little bit.
I recently cheated on my fiancée on a business trip. It was one time, I was drinking, and I feel terrible about it. She has forgiven me and the wedding is back on track, but my problem is her friends. They hate me now. How can I convince them that I’m sorry and it won’t happen again? It’s causing my fiancée a lot of unhappiness because of the tension with her friends.
I’m not happy with you, and it’s not for the reason you think.
If your fiancée wants to forgive you getting jacked up and hooking up with some boozy hussy from Topeka, that’s her decision. But I have a problem with you just coming back, ‘fessing up, and then fretting about the fact that her friends don’t like you. It’s not fair to the poor girl to claim you’re ready for a wedding.
People who are mature, happy, in love, and ready to commit know that they should keep their body parts to themselves. In fact, they WANT to keep their body parts to themselves. Or at least to themselves and one other person. That person being their betrothed.
I don’t think you should be engaged at all, but if you’re too much of a wuss to put things on hold, you better figure out what’s wrong with you ASAP. Go to therapy, read some self-help books, take up yoga and meditation, stop drinking on business trips, and stop having sex with other people. Concentrate on making yourself a good, honest man who knows how to be in a committed relationship. Once you prove this to your fiancée, you can worry about her friends.