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Delaying the inevitable – by Nicola Davies

by in News

Today, well actually for the whole week, I’ve been procrastinating… even as I type this, I am avoiding doing the job I don’t really want to do, although I know I can do it and I will HAVE to do it, I’m just putting off the inevitable.

It’s not that the task is difficult; it’s not that I can’t do it and to be frank, it’s something I’ve just got to do whether I want to or not. It actually doesn’t matter what that job is though – it could be the yearly appraisals, it could be the monthly VAT return or typing up those minutes from that meeting. It’s actually the procrastination I want to talk about today.

Why do we put off the inevitable? Why do we insist on filling the time doing other, possibly mundane jobs, while THAT task sits there on our desks… looking at us. We know it’s going to be there tomorrow, we know no-one else can or will do it for us… so what’s the point in putting it off?

Well, I’ll tell you… I think there are certain jobs where we need to be in the right frame of mind. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not the most empathetic or sympathetic person on the planet. My idea of counselling is more often than not to tell you that you need to put your big boy pants on and just man up. That approach only works with a very few people for obvious reasons – and the main reason that I never went into nursing is the fact that my blunt, northern manner just doesn’t cut the ice if you’re feeling ever so slightly out of sorts.

Please don’t come to me for words of comfort. Come to me for a solution (I can do that) or come to me if you want me to say “I told you so” (I can do that as well!). Having said that, I can fake sincerity and empathy so I can at least a go at being understanding (even if under my breath I’m hoping you’ll get on with it/not end up crying).

I’m procrastinating because the task that I need to do is going to take at least a full half day to complete from start to finish – it needs to be worded appropriately and tick all the relevant CCG boxes to ensure it gets approved, signed off and paid for without question. It needs some GP input of course, and it really is no good to me at all when they say “oh that’ll do” because actually no, it won’t. These days, we need to be completely PC, transparent, what we say we’ll do, we must absolutely do – there’s no way we can ‘wing it’ anymore, despite that often being my best approach in the good old days.

Of course, during a half day, I can get masses done – accounts, VAT, that response to that patient about that complaint, that meeting with the nurses about a change of policy. The list as we all know is endless – but to do this one task means I won’t be able to do anything else AT ALL. And I quite like the choppin’ and changin’ of my job. I like to pick up and put down several tasks all at once. Do a bit on this, do a bit on that… keeps me going sometimes!!

Obviously, you have to factor in all the interruptions you get. This week we were the subject of a rogue phishing email. Security scans were done, people informed and yet alarmingly throughout the whole day, my inbox was littered with quick emails from colleagues “was that really from you?” “did you send it? It didn’t look right, so I didn’t open it, but I thought I should check”… and of course, you want to inform everyone as quickly as possible so instead of holding my inbox until later in the day and dealing with everything in one go, I interrupted what I was doing to ensure a quick response to my colleague.

There’s also the fact that the task I am using the delaying tactics on is deadly boring. Dull as dishwater, about as interesting as watching paint dry and to be totally honest, if it wasn’t for the money that was attached, I wouldn’t bother.

So, I need to gird my loins and get this sorted once and for all. My plan is I’ll finish typing this article, I must have another cup of tea (and probably yet another biscuit), I’ll just re-type out my ‘to do’ list for tomorrow ensuring that this task is under the heading of ‘Numero Uno… Do This First’, then I’ll just type up those minutes from that network meeting, oh and I’ve got to phone a patient about some medication they need… oh yeah, and I’d already offered to do some training with a new member of staff so I can do that later this afternoon in between the typing of the minutes and the phone call.

Oh what a shame, I’ve procrastinated for so long, it’s time to go home. Maybe I’ll get it sorted tomorrow… d’ya think?!

Nicola Davies


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7 Responses to “Delaying the inevitable – by Nicola Davies”
  1. Avatar
    virverax Says:

    Sums me up to a T I have real problems with just getting on with things sometimes it’s almost comical were it not actually quite a serious issue.
    Well written thank you.


  2. Avatar
    Nicola Says:

    I could have actually written this myself!!! ha! It must be the name!!! 🙂


  3. Avatar
    RobynPM Says:

    I am massively feeling this! Especially this week. Have had a list of tasks that I’ve pushed back and back because I’m just not “there yet”. Am getting them done today as I have the office to myself and it feels good to tick them off one by one, but have spent the rest of this week wondering if I’m creating a rod for my own back. This morning though I feel that by 6pm tonight I will feel like I’ve accomplished something and won’t be beating myself up!


  4. Avatar
    Millie Says:

    This is me this week. I haven’t even been that busy but the stuff that I have to do is either unpleasant (difficult conversations) or boring. Hence I’m checking Practice Index instead of getting on with it. I am getting on my own nerves so I’m just going to clear it before the weekend


  5. Avatar
    Cheryl Says:

    The relief of knowing this isn’t just me is almost tangible!


  6. Avatar
    Deborah Says:

    Right, fired up by the truth of this article I am about to start the improvement bid that I keep putting off … as soon as I have finished typing this comment….

    (Also get the ‘come to me for solutions’ – I can do empathy/sympathy just not when it gets in the way of ‘doing/sorting’ a problem).


  7. Avatar
    jamil Says:

    what a relief knowing I am not going crazy.

    Well written , thank you


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