My driveway is in serious need of pressure washing. The need is so serious that my homeowners association has sent me a nasty-gram telling me that if I do not pressure wash the driveway by tomorrow, the association will refer the matter to its attorneys. Yikes.
I have no desire to have to deal with lawyers (or their fees) over a matter as mundane as pressure washing. So why am I typing on my computer when I should be out working on my driveway? Well, I did set aside today and tomorrow for pressure washing. I even bought a new Troy-Bilt pressure washer with a Briggs and Stratton engine so that I could get the driveway looking great. Moreover, I actually went outside this morning and pressure washed for 45 minutes.
Then the pressure washer stopped working. The engine became quiet. The water stopped shooting out of the hose. An eerie calm descended on my front yard. Despite all of my non-mechanically minded efforts, I could not get the pressure washer to work again. It was dead.
I tried to call the technical support at Briggs and Stratton and spent 30 minutes on hold listening to bad music with an occasional voice over letting me know that I would have to wait for more than 10 minutes before my call would be taken. I finally gave up and left a message, which still has not been returned.
Four hours after I started, my driveway still needs to be power washed and I will need to humbly seek the forbearance of my subdivision (which will annoy me since so many of my neighbors have gotten away with worse violations). More importantly, I may now need to hire someone to pressure wash my driveway and that will cost me more than the purchase price of my seemingly worthless pressure washer.
Machines break. I know that, and that is why I am so annoyed with myself. If I had not left my pressure washing to the last minute, this morning’s fiasco would not have been anything more than a bump in the road. Because I left it to the last minute, however, my inability to get my pressure washing completed is going to cost me both time and money because I am going to have to rush to find another way to get my driveway cleaned quickly. If I had made the time a month ago to clean my driveway, I would have had plenty of time to get my pressure washer to work and to complete the job before tomorrow.
How often do we do this in our daily lives? The car does not sound quite right but we don’t bother to take into the shop right away. The seam has started to come undone but we do not fix it right away. Food in our refrigerator should be eaten before it goes past its freshness date, but we choose to eat other things.
Ben Franklin reminded his readers that they should not “put off until tomorrow that which can be done today.” There is wisdom in Ben’s words. It applies to how we take care of our bodies and it applies to how we take care of the things that we own.
Every time we fail to maintain the things that we own, we depreciate them faster than is necessary. If we fail to change the oil in our car when we should, the car will break down faster than it should. If we don’t attend to a small leak in our pipes, bigger leaks will necessarily follow. If we do not force ourselves to be responsible and to take care of the things that we own, our things will breakdown faster and either become useless or harder to maintain.
If we all stop procrastinating, we will have fewer emergency purchases to make when our things break or when we reach deadlines for things to be done. If we all stop procrastinating, we will spend less because our belongings will last longer. It’s as simple as that.
How have you cost yourself by procrastinating? What is the biggest mistake that you have made in putting off a project only to see the project become much more expensive because of the delay? Perhaps you do not procrastinate. How then do you stay organized so that you can get everything done?