Friendship Duo: Jessica and Veronica on Appreciating Each Other’s Precrastination

Jessica is a profound precrastinator and urologist in the Pacific Northwest with a lawyer spouse and two toddlers. Her interests include salad, Crossfit, the library, and checking boxes.  

Veronica is a precrastinator, rather than a profound precrastinator. She hypothesizes that her quiz result was swayed by her love of trip planning spreadsheets and sunscreen (she’s a dermatologist). She lives in New York City and loves running, hiking, chocolate, sending planning emails, and spending time with her kids.

Tell us the story of how you met! Did anyone precrastinate or procrastinate in establishing your friendship?

J:  I really wanted to be friends with Veronica from the beginning of medical school, but she was so intimidating. Her notes had notes! I was too afraid to study with her, but managed to tempt her into joining the club water polo team with me.    

V: Jessica always has these amazing adventure plans – neither of us had ever played Water Polo! We decided to meet at the pool to practice swimming before the club tryouts and we were both…extremely early. We couldn’t help but laugh. Don’t worry, we made the (club) team. The funniest thing is that even though we don’t look alike, the one goal we scored and one assist we had the whole season was credited to the wrong one of us! I don’t even remember who scored or who it was credited to though…. 

How do your pre/pro styles differ, and how do they manifest in your friendship?

J: I admire everything about Veronica’s style. She is an excellent vacation planner. I once beat her at a mental math task, which I hold dear to my heart. Otherwise, she is at least 5% better than me at all other aspects of adulthood; I’m not bad, but she is amazing.

V: It’s true that I loooooooove to plan vacations. I like to send a million emails with suggested activities and I already have fantasized about where I will go in the winter of 2022…if it is safe to travel by then. 

I am so amused by Jessica’s retelling because I think of Jessica as *fundamentally better at mental math* than I am. She also has an incredible innate sense of design – she always has the perfect outfit and accessories (in med school it always drove me crazy because her feet are a half size smaller than mine so I could never try on her shoes!). As we’ve become adults it has translated to the most welcoming and beautiful home. All the loveliest items in my own house either were gifts from Jessica or directly inspired by her. 

In what ways have your styles been beneficial to your lives or your friendship?

J: Veronica had a baby two months before I did. It was such a life-saver during this time of upheaval to have a friend to commiserate with who also was consistently a voice of wisdom and experience.

V: That is so nice of you to say, Jessica! What I remember from that time is intensively boring you with thousands of emails about cribs and spreadsheets. 

My favorite Jessica precrastinator story is that when we came to medical school Jessica had this idea (essentially on the first day) that we would do this rotation with the Indian Health Service in Alaska. It took two intensive precrastinators a full 18 months to deal with the paperwork, but we did it, and it ended up being so meaningful and special in ways even the best planners couldn’t have predicted. 

In what ways have your styles made things difficult in your lives or in your friendship? Give us some examples.

J: Two precrastinators who are optimizing for different goals can be rough.  On past trips together, Veronica often wanted to optimize for hiking when I wanted to optimize for ice cream.

V: This is true. When we discovered that our priorities weren’t mutually exclusive it was a lot easier for us to hike and then have ice cream.

What are some surprising aspects of your personalities, or approach to pre/procrastination, that you’ve realized over the years?

J: I’m not very good at resting. I’m trying to get better at doing literally nothing.

V: Me too. But sadly I’ve resorted to scheduling rest time.

When thinking about how you’ve developed your pre/procrastination styles, who or what influenced you?

J: Veronica is chronically early, which I think is the hardest flex in the book. I love it — she is so cool!

V: I do think being chronically early is an extremely hard flex once you have kids. Toddler time defies the laws of physics!

Jessica is responsible for all of my best adventures. I think it makes sense that she is a profound precrastinator on the quiz and I am a regular precrastinator because she has these profound, life-altering long-term visions. For example, she is responsible for my one and only marathon! It took us six months to train for (obviously Jessica made a training plan) but it was so worth it. The best part was spending time together on the long runs. 

What does being preinclined mean to you?

J: I try hard to live by three maxims: 1) Tell the truth, 2) Be kind to your future self, and 3) Sow seeds of happiness. I’ll lend those to anyone who needs a few guiding words of their own. 

V: Jessica is so good at thinking critically about how to improve our lives and those of the people around us. It’s such a lovely big picture pre-inclination and I benefit so much from it every day.

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