Friday, February 01, 2008

Procrastination

That's the name of the game this morning. So this may be a short post.

It's Friday - blog day! It's Feb. 1st - website update day! I'm heading out of town for the weekend and haven't finished laundry, haven't packed, haven't finished cleaning the house for Grandma who will be here staying with the Gremlins. I've known all week these things were coming up, and yet I didn't get any of the items on my "to do" list done. Why? Because I'm the queen of procrastination.

This blog will be finished in minutes, and I can check that off my list. Half the website updates are done, I just have to write the president's article and send it all to my web mistress. The cleaning and laundry (oh, and paying bills) will have to wait until I get back from my run.

I know what you're thinking...what the heck is she rambling about? How in the name of all things holy does this have anything to do with writing? Simple, grasshopper. Last minute pressure is how I work. I've always been like this. Give me a month to get something done and I will wait until the last possible minute to start. I always meet my deadline, but I rarely have wiggle room to spare. I'm thinking this could be a bad thing when I get to deadline time, but something interesting I've found is that I work better under pressure than I do when I have oodles of time to accomplish a task. (I can hear Alice over there snickering at me....shshhshshshhhhhh!)

One drawback to this is that when I'm crunched for time, I have a clear list in my head of what needs to be done and when. And anyone else stepping in to help totally throws my plan off kilter. Take, for example, the fact that today is the day the blurb about our next meeting has to be sent to the Statesman Journal. As the previous secretary, this was my responsibility. When we didn't have a secretary in Jan. because Danita had announced her maternity leave and we hadn't voted in her replacement, this job fell back to me. Now it's Feb. Much easier for me to just do it than forward all the stuff to our interim secretary and have her handle it. I'm forcing myself not to do that. (Be forewarned, Paty, an email's coming your way. LOL) Another drawback is that on days like this - when I have ten thousand things to do - I'm a bear to be around. Single-minded focused. Yeah, the DH hates days like this. Again, not boding well for those deadline moments.

So...as I run around today like a chicken with my head cut off, I'm wondering...are you a procrastinator too? Have you ever been? Can you work steadily and slowly toward something or are you an under-the-crunch-girl? And if you have procrastination tendencies (like moi) how do you make them work for you?

(Oh, and before you go off and think I'm a total slacker, I want to mention the reason I didn't get much done this week in preparation for today was because I was knee-deep in my revisions - which are so close to being done I can taste them. And I so just want to work on them today and forget everything else!!! ARGH!)

12 comments:

Paty Jager said...

I'm not a procrastinator(my e-mail about the beach retreat:))

I like to be to places early, have things finished ahead of schedule, and know where I'm headed next. I like to be prepared.

I was flustered on Tuesday when I still hadn't heard from the bookstore in Roseburg about my book signing. I spent an hour finding a phone number to contact them to have him say, "Oh, I was just getting around to calling you. Yes, we plan on having you here and all the publicity is up to you." ACK! I spent the rest of that day making a poster and writing up a news Release to send to the Roseburg papers. Then on WEdnesday, I about had a coronary when I went to get the posters printed and the machine was having maintenance! My plan was to walk in, get my copies, pop them in the mail, and be home to write. I ended up dwadling away time in town waiting for the printer to call me and say the machine was fixed. FOUR hours later- I went back to the store and he jumped up- oh, yeah, I forgot about your stuff!!!

But I got the posters in the mail and resumed my schedule yesterday only to hop on a chat loop this morning thinking it was TWRP day and found out I was the only one there because I was a week early! YIKES!

Okay, I'm not much help to you, but I'm not a procrastinator and your kind- makes me nuts! LOL

Lori Barber said...

I'm not a procrastinator either. I too, like to arrive early, and have things done ahead of schedule. I get jumpy and nervous if I feel behind. I don't like to be in a pressure box.

Joining this blogger gig has already got me a little jumpy and nervous. I don't think fast on my feet and often get tongue tied. I'm a person who mulls things over and later (too late) comes up with an appropriate response.

We all learn and grow at different speeds. As long as I'm moving forward I'm content.

Lori

Alice Sharpe said...

I wrote a witty, pithy reply. Trust me, I did. And then the Bloggonator ate it. Just like that! I push the button, that nasty little beast goes gulp, gulp and ten minutes of thoughtful reply goes away!

What did I say? I got down on my knees and thanked the stars that I fall somewhere between Eli and Paty when it comes to procrastination vs anal retentiveness. I said it funnier than that, however. And I believe I also offered a prayer for Eli's young children and her dh as deadline mania time approaches. But it's also true that the focus you talk about getting in the eleventh hour is a mighty and powerful tool.

Paty, I would have been frustrated with the cavalier attitude of the bookstore and the print shop. I probably wouldn't have hung around for four hours. I probably would have made rude sounds and gone home to sulk and thereby not gotten the job done.

Fun blog! (And this time I'm saving it before I hit the publish button!!!)

Alice Sharpe said...

Oh, and Lori, I would think the blog format will work well for you as you can take all the time to think you want and then blast us with humor and warmth!

Or say nothing. Or be silly. Or be pedantic. Or be whatever....

Genene said...

Eli, I love this blog! I'm a procrastinator who is in the process of reforming. Like Paty, I too like to have thing finished ahead of schedule and be prepared. However, do I accomplish this? Noooo...

At the last minute, I wonder where the time has gone. Yes, the adrenaline kicks in, but so does the panic that I might not pull "it" off this time. And if something goes awry -- like a less-than-business-like printer -- it's not pretty.

In addition, I tend to overbook my time, which is not a good thing. However, I'm learning to say no. Learning not to do "one more thing" before I leave for an appointment. Focus on finishing one task before I start another six ...

Deep breaths and meditation help!

Genene said...

Eli, I love this blog! I'm a procrastinator who is in the process of reforming. Like Paty, I too like to have thing finished ahead of schedule and be prepared. However, do I accomplish this? Noooo...

At the last minute, I wonder where the time has gone. Yes, the adrenaline kicks in, but so does the panic that I might not pull "it" off this time. And if something goes awry -- like a less-than-business-like printer -- it's not pretty.

In addition, I tend to overbook my time, which is not a good thing. However, I'm learning to say no. Learning not to do "one more thing" before I leave for an appointment. Focus on finishing one task before I start another six ...

Deep breaths and meditation help!

Genene said...

And don't ask me why my comment showed up twice. Once at 10:00-something this morning (Blogger says) -- almost 12 hours before I wrote it -- and again now! LOL! I'll see if I can delete one of them.

Genene said...

Sorry! I can't figure out how to delete my duplicate comment. Guess that makes up for Alice's first one that blogger ate. (Though not as wise and pithy, of course!)

If someone else can delete the duplicate, please feel free!

Karen Duvall said...

(Raises hand high and waves it like a flag on a windy day) Yep, procrastination, that's me. I'm all about it, and I can get pretty philosophical about it, too. 8^)

See, I put my things-to-do in 3 different categories: Stuff I have to do, stuff I should do, and stuff I want to do. I then reverse the order, and life is good. Sort of. So the stuff I have to do gets pushed back so that I can do the stuff I want to do first. I put off things all the time. And if I don't give myself a deadline, it may never get done at all.

I do perform better under pressure. I can go into panic mode, though, because I stand by my commitments. If I say I'm going to do such-and-such, then I'll get it done at 2 a.m. if I have to.

I drive my clients nuts. They're often asking after the status of their projects, and more times than not, I haven't even started them yet. I'm starting on the stuff due that day. It's how I work. I work best that way, and I get kind of irritated when clients get pushy because they think there's something's wrong with my process. I figure as long as their project gets done on time, what's the beef?

But Paty, I do agree with you about being prepared. I don't like sudden changes in plans. It's just my part in accomplishing a task that will get done at the last minute. However, I'm fully confident in meeting my goals.

Danita Cahill said...

Glad you got the posters and publicity taken care of Paty. And thanks for jumping in and taking care of the Statesman Journal stuff. Gives Elisabeth one less thing to worry about.

Lori -- not thinking fast on your feet and coming up with "quick" responses much later is what makes it a joy to be a writer. No one has to know how long it took us to think up that witty diolog. Ha!

Danita Cahill said...

Alice,
I hate it when the blogomonster does that. One reason why I write so many shorter responses. Then if one is eaten, I'm out less calories.

Pedantic. I have to look that one up.

I see this blog really affected Genene. She had to post the same thing twice. Ha!

As for procrastinating. Yes, I can do it. But sometimes I'm also ahead of the game. Depends on the task. Christmas stuff I handle early. Tax stuff and other boring paperwork I can put off until mid-April. But deadlines I can hit. One thing working at a daily paper teaches a person -- you gotta make the dealdline.

Carol B. said...

It seems we have something in common, E. I can SO relate to this:
Last minute pressure is how I work. I've always been like this. Give me a month to get something done and I will wait until the last possible minute to start. I always meet my deadline, but I rarely have wiggle room to spare.
But, my! Doesn't it make you feel alive and productive when you're whizzing through your To Do List and screeching to a halt at the last second? :)