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Planning -V- Procrastination – Pick the Difference

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Is there a difference between procrastination and planning? In my experience – no. The first is just a euphemism for the other.

Some of you may remember the tale of the five frogs sitting on a log. One of them decided to jump off. Question – how many frogs were left on the log?

The vast majority of the population would answer four. The answer is five. The frog who decided to jump did only that, it made a decision to jump, but it did not actually jump.

And so it is with planning. Planning is a preliminary step prior to action. A plan is a decision to do something but it doesn’t encompass the next step – doing something.

So it is with what we lawyers call, ‘Estate Planning’. Put simply, it is planning for your death and loss of capacity, amongst other things. I object to the use of the word ‘planning’ when it comes to these vital steps in our life and death preparations. But it gives the impression that there is something more to do. There is – actioning the plan.

I once had a client who started his conversation with me with the words. “I saw you give a presentation about 4 years ago and I’ve now decided I should do something.”

Let’s overturn centuries of legal tradition and make it more a ‘doing’ phrase. Let’s call it, ‘estate action’. Probably won’t make a difference. Most of us will just keep planning to procrastinate.

Think I’ll go fishing.

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