Feb 01 '18

What are the top most procrastinated tasks?

Marnie Gerkhardt
Marnie Gerkhardt
Innovation Manager

As the famous line from Benjamin Franklin goes, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

So, it would appear logical that perhaps second only to procrastination of filing taxes would one find procrastination of filing a will. In fact, 64% of Americans say they do not have a will. Of that, about 27% say there’s no urgent need to make one and 15% believe they don't need one at all.  

Marnie Gerkhardt
Marnie Gerkhardt
Innovation Manager

Sadly, here's the reality: you can’t escape either one. While we know what our deadline is to complete one of these commonly procrastinated tasks, we can never be sure how long we have to complete the other. 

Now you may be thinking, ‘oh my, this sure just took a morbid turn,’ but I can assure you, this WILL* get lighter. 

Death is a heavy subject...

But through the love and care of a team of credit union people who have experienced losses of loved ones both in instances where there was a will (and a way*), and where there wasn’t, a careful solution was built in hopes of eliminating the burdensome heavy barriers to will creation. This is a program that credit unions can offer as a service to their members and if this encourages more people to file wills and eliminate the chance of the types of painful situations those on the team experienced, then the tool will prove to be a success. 

To know if it is though, we need credit unions to sign up to test Will Be Done with us during our pilot phase. We’ll do all the heaviest lifting to make it as easy as possible on your credit union to begin this trial. The team has built an approachable, manageable and friendly online tool for preparing members for completing their will. Which WILL* ease the burden on their closest loved ones when they finally...tell their family it is completed. (Geez, you thought I was going to say when they finally die, didn’t you? How morbid do you think I am!? One doesn’t have to die to begin to reap* the rest-in-peace* of mind benefits of having a will!) 

I WILL* get a few more puns in here before we’re done. But For now, if you’re interested in this prototype concept, the first step is to learn more details from me. I’m holding two info sessions that anyone can listen in on at 1pm CT on 2/1 and 2/6 and if those dates aren’t great for you, just shoot me an email and we’ll schedule a time to chat that works for you. 

Our stories... 

If you’re still reading, fantastic, because now I’d like to share a few of those stories I just mentioned from the team that invented this idea as well as one of my own.   

This is the picture I have framed in my house. It’s the last memory I’ll ever have where most of my brothers and sisters are together. It was taken about a month before my brother Carl, in the red shirt, lost his battle with leukemia.

This wasn’t a surprise. We knew it was coming. But that didn’t make it any easier on anyone involved and I’m forever changed from having watched my father bury his son.

I simply could not have imagined having to guess what Carl would have wanted had we not had the time to know. What if he had someone he was dating? What if he had a large estate? This isn’t about you. This is about making the process easier for your family when you pass.

The first life of Imminent Death...

In 2013, we asked the i3ers to load two buses and take a road trip with us. As we traveled from destination to destination, they worked the Filene Method of Innovation in groups. We asked each team to share their problems in the Sunken Gardens at William & Mary University.

I’ll never forget the moment Michael Spink talked about his team’s problem. His brother passed away unexpectedly in a motorcycle accident. He left behind a condo with some assets and a girlfriend. “My brother was the type of guy who would have come to the next family gathering with the news that they got married or that they broke up and neither would have been a surprise.”

Not only was Michael and his family left with the unexpected loss of their family member, but they had to guess what his brother would have wanted for his girlfriend. Was it enough? Was it not enough? What would he have wanted?

The team went on to create a concept called “Imminent Death” that did not knock it out of the park, but they tried something wacky and took death head on in a way I’d never seen it taken on before. Two years later we gave this problem/idea to a team that saw the potential and value in this problem statement and the learnings from the first team to bring us “Will Be Done.”

We’re proud of this iteration and invite you to join us on its next life*. I hope you won’t procrastinate on this opportunity to offer your members Will Be Done—and of course, best of luck with filing your taxes before April 15!

*All puns intended 

Get in touch with Marnie Gerkhardt, pun master extraordinaire, to learn more about prototyping Will Be Done at your credit union.