Monday, October 13, 2008

Where's the fire?

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: I am, by nature, a procrastinator.

Usually I try to keep this part of my personality strictly within the realm of "personal life." But I'm beginning to see that when applied to business, procrastination can be parlayed into a useful skill.

No really, hear me out. By definition, a procrastinator puts things off until the last minute. A really skilled procrastinator will still deliver quality work on time. A really, really skilled procrastinator will let others do the procrastinating, and then when the project finally lands on his/her plate at the last minute, will save the day by delivering quality work on time.

I am a really, really skilled procrastinator. I put out other people's fires. It's not my preferred way of working, but when push comes to shove, and you absolutely, positively must have something done in an inconceivably short time frame, I'm your gal.

And there's another way being an executive-level procrastinator has helped me in my business. My current on-site gig has me working at the client's office from 1-5 every day (sounds suspiciously like a part-time job, but they assure me it isn't). I'm not an early riser. This means I have 3-3.5 hours each morning to work on my other projects before I have to leave for my afternoon gig. I apply my superior procrastination skills to make the most of that time--I give myself a 1:00 deadline every day, so from the minute I start working in the morning until that deadline, I am in quality, on-time fire extinguishing mode.

In the hands of a less-skilled procrastinator, this method would be a disaster. But I've never been more productive.


Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm a catch-fire-as-deadline-nears kinda gal myself. I plan on joining the Primo Procrastinator's Club soon...when I get around to sending in the dues. *grin*

Small Footprints said...

My DH would say it isn't "procrastination" ... it's "Just In Time" production. :)

Small Footprints

Melody said...

I like this logic. It makes me feel extremely good about myself.

I agree that sometimes procrastination saves the day. I have a monthly project that involves others sending me submissions. They NEVER send these submissions on time. If I wasn't a procrastinator, this would bug me. But I just wait until the project is like a day before deadline. By that time, everyone has sent the work in. Therefore I don't harass anyone and the project leaders think of me as calm.

Yay for procrastination!

Melody Platz

Anonymous said...

I guess you could say that I procrastinate. I know when my assignments are due and yet I keep "researching" to keep from actually sitting down and writing that short story. I come up with my best ideas under pressure...that's my excuse for it all. I really enjoyed your blog and it helped me to realize that I am not one of a kind.

Happy writing and happy blogging.

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