If you came here looking for motivational advice, you might as well stop reading now. I'm not going to try to inspire you to do the things you know you should be doing. I'm going to take a more analytical approach. The antidote to procrastination is strategic thinking. Be deliberate with what you will and will not do.

Name for me one problem that gets better over time. Just one. We all intuitively know that there are no such problems. I frequently write about my house, because when we took possession of it in October 2018, it needed substantial improvement. The upstairs bathroom exhaust fan terminated in the attic, not outside through a vent. Rerouting it to the gable vent cost about $20 in materials and one hour of time. I seriously considered ignoring it, until I estimated the cost of removing future mold. The house also had defective polybutylene plumbing, which cost $770 to replace and about four hours of time. Had the pipes burst, repair costs would have been ten times that amount and my family would have to vacate during repairs, incurring additional lodging cost. Problems get harder and more expensive to fix when left unaddressed.

In the professional arena, procrastination seems less catastrophic. It was 4pm on a Friday when I received a non-urgent email from a fellow engineer I did not personally know. He needed help deploying a specific networking technology in which I had mastered. I called him immediately, we talked it through for about ten minutes, and that was the end of it. I considered waiting until Monday. Why wait? Would that be in his best interest? What about the customer he was likely supporting? What possible advantage would be gained by waiting?

Another twist is to the consider the "growth mindset". I've written about the time value of money before and why a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. When measuring discretionary time, I consider it the opposite. Assuming that you are "growing" (focusing more on your business, writing more music, etc.), your future time will become more scarce and thus more valuable. If you procrastinate, you are only robbing your future self.

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