Deadlines & Commitments: What to Leave In, What to Leave Out (Bob Segar)

I know one good reason why there is a statute of limitations, and it has nothing to do with the law.

It has to do with human nature. Apparently, most of us were born with a dominant procrastination gene that expresses itself at every opportunity. Given the option of infinity, how long do you think some people would wait to file a claim? Just count the number of times someone calls us and declares “the statute is tolling!” (i.e., the sky is falling).

Why is it tolling? Most often, the deadline is looming because the claimant waited until the last minute to find an attorney, or the attorney waited until the last minute to address merit, or the expert took too long to review the records and prepare an affidavit, or in general, life happened and it is human nature to save the hardest work for last.

We have a statute of limitations because someone had to take control of this gene.
We have final exams because without them, most students would study for the immediacy of one test rather than retain the data for a “final” test. Trust me on this; I have four children.

There is a time to punch the clock, a time beyond which we are tardy, an alarm clock that awakens us, and a snooze button that apologizes for waking us up.

I need deadlines. I do. I need goals and objectives because without them, I am at sea. If I find it difficult to prioritize work or decide what onerous task needs doing first, I can let deadlines be my guide. But I always know that what I am really doing is finding a rational reason to put off until tomorrow what I should have done yesterday.

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