Top Ten Things Not to Put Off When You Have a Lot to Do.

Ten things not to do


The inspiration for this list is living long enough to experience what happens when things are put off. Not all of these things have occurred but enough to give me the title of Consultant on What Not to Put Off.

10 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off buying an anniversary present. If you do, at best you’ll have to spend more to find what you want to give. At worst, what you want to give is no longer available and your second choice falls way short. (That pair of rubber dish gloves just didn’t have the same panache did it, Emanuele?)

9 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off paying Tiny, the WWF champ, the ten bucks you borrowed. If you do, at best you won’t run into Tiny. At worst, you’ll meet Tiny just after he left his financial planner with the news that he is broke. (Right now would be a good time to have that ten spot out where Tiny can see it, Emesto. There won’t be time once he grabs you by the throat.)

8 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off responding to that traffic ticket. If you do, at best you can cover the late fee. At worst,  a rookie police officer will see you drive by and will have memorized the license plates of all the outstanding warrants for this week. (Yes, those lights and siren mean to pull over, Emo. Better hope someone can come and bail you out. Oh, and don’t worry about your new car. The wrecker folks got that name for a reason.)

7 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off paying that final notice on the water and electric bill. If you do, at best you might get a grace period. At worse, you planned on filling the bathtub and buying some candles but were caught by surprise. (How do those shins feel after hitting that coffee table five times, Enceladus?)

6 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off filing your taxes. If you do, at best you will remind the IRS agent of his father. At worst, you will remind the IRS agent of her ex-husband. (Why do the terms ‘delinquent, fine, and jail term’ keep coming up in the discussion, Eoin?)

5 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off renewing your auto or driver’s license. If you do at best a wait at the DMV is the only penalty. At worst, just when some eyewitness of a bank robbery described a car like yours, a state police officer pulled in behind you. (Don’t think these guys aren’t going to have guns drawn, Eren. The bank robber will probably get a lighter sentence than driving with expired plates and license.)

4 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off sending your house insurance premium. If you do, at best your agent will remind you. At worst, the rare piece of space junk entering the atmosphere and landing on your house will remind you of the forgotten check. (Don’t worry, Erin. Insurance companies have huge hearts and will likely forgive your oversight. Believe that, and I have an underwater lot I think you would like.)

3 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off making those airline reservations to attend the mandatory company seminar. If you do, at best you’ll have a center seat on a packed plane. At worst, you’ll be on standby, and as luck would have it, there are no seats available. (Who would have thought that Dubuque Iowa was such a popular destination, Erskine? You can tell by the tension in the voice that the boss is not going to forgive and forget.)

2 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off paying that credit card bill. If you do, at best you’ll rack up a big late fee. At worse, just when you are trying to impress someone by grabbing the dinner check, the waiter comes back and tells you in a loud voice that your card has been denied. (You can try all you want to explain a bank error, Eske. Your soon to be ex-client isn’t believing your story.)

1 If you have a number of things going on, do not put off double checking your parachute before your skydive this weekend. If you do, at best it was done right. At worst, you will find yourself in a position of having to hope the spare will do the job. (After all, Estanislao you have gained a few pounds. Oh, and that go cam recording should be hilarious so let’s hope you are there to enjoy it.)


  1. Amazing, dear John! Especially everything that is linked with payments. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Maria. 😀

  2. Gwen Plano · · Reply

    This is a scary list for sure and a humorous one. 😀 Have a great day, John.

    1. Have a great day yourself, Gwen. Thank you. 😀

  3. I dare say that I came close to a few of these. Hilarious now!

    1. Now it is funny. Then? nNot so much. Thanks, Jennie.

  4. So – you’re saying, that above all else – I have to pay my bills? Jeez, you’re a spoil-sport!!

    1. I know right? 😀

  5. For some reason, I imagined someone double-checking their parachute after they jump. Not sure why I thought that. Great list for those who procrastinate. 🙂

    1. Pretty funny thought though. “Hmm looks like this is not going to open.”

      1. “Why do I have bed linens in here?”

  6. Huh, wonder if I registered the camper?

    1. Better go check. 😀

  7. Paying bills, taxes, AND Tiny – it’s no wonder I’m driving an unregistered vehicle. Great list John. Fortunately, the Mrs. handles the bills.

    1. That’s the way it works here too. Otherwise I would be sitting in the dark. 😀

  8. Great advice, John. Number four…snort!🙃

  9. I don’t even want to say which ones I’m guilty of … well, definitely not #1! Great list, John 🙂

    1. Thank you, Marie. 😀

  10. Having many, many, many things to do, only one rises to the top of must do. For GODSAKES, GET THE CATS FIXED BEFORE THE SHED IS OVERRUN!

    There…..I feel better….

    1. Just sayin’ isn’t doin’ 😀

  11. For me, when in my teaching days I had a lot of marking papers to do, which often were very urgent, it was always: don’t fiddle around with your computer in the middle of the night to change something unimportant. You might still sit there at 3 on the moning to undo the damage to be able to go back to mmarking papers.
    Have a great week, John.

    1. You as well, Pit. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I used to be a bigger procrastinator than I am today. I, too, have learned from the School of Experience that waiting until tomorrow to do important things that need doing today just never pays off. Excellent list, John!

    1. Thank you Debbie. The sign that we are growing up (darn it) 😀

  13. All too real … I guess it worse for people with an anniversary and birthday around tax time.

    1. Tri Fecta of Forget.

  14. Such good solid advice, John, especially the part about the parachute. 🙂

    1. LOL Thanks, Jan

  15. Hahahaha!
    I could definitely imagine this list in a Jim Croce reboot of the “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” song!

      1. It’s true . .I’m humming it now, lol.

  16. Top of my list would be not to forget to use the bathroom…

  17. Amazing list, John. I liked the one about the falling space junk – that would be my luck!

    1. Ha ha ha. Mine too.

  18. You have thought of some very funny things here, John. I am very good at not getting around to these sorts of things.

    1. I was going to have one of them be a blog post. it was too horrific to even describe.

  19. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out another great top ten list from John Howell. This one is the top ten things not to put off when you have a lot to do. Check out the original post on this fiction favorites blog.

    1. Thank you, Don

  20. I’m a big sinner of #10. Always leave it to the last minute, and then tell myself that next year I’ll start buying at least a month before the event. It never happens!

    1. I know right? Shows you are normal.

  21. […] episode was kindly hosted by John W. Howell and you can find out more about John and his books later in the […]

    1. Thank you, Sally.

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