Monday, April 02, 2007

I work best under pressure

is the procrastinator's self-consoling lie. I know because I use it so often and so well. Take tonight for instance:

You may notice, if your time-telling senses are keen, that I'm writing this post at a little after 11:15pm, EDT. Why did I procrastinate the posting of my post? Because of the paper I procrastinated turning in until today.

It gets worse.

That paper was actually due more than a week ago, but due to my procrastination and the subsequent underestimation of how long it would take to write it and still stay caught up in my regular reading and homework while continuing to faithfully serve my employer 40 hours a week, it became late. I talked with the professor and she kindly gave me an extension--to today. The extension was granted last Wednesday, and I finally wrote the paper this afternoon and evening after work. "It's okay," I thought to myself as I walked to the public library to sequester myself, "I work best under pressure."

But as I finished up the ninth page of my essay, put the finishing touches and formatting on it, and did a quick re-read, I realized that it had turned out the same as nearly every paper I write. It was pretty good. It had a solid introduction and thesis and a well written, snappy, and organized first half. Then it starts to lag. The language isn't as sharp, the thesis isn't tied in as well, and it kind of starts to ramble. By the end I do a good job of tying everything back into the main thesis, but there's sort of a diaspora in the last half that requires a gathering at the end.

By the time the paper is completed, it's nearly zero hour and time to turn it in. I can fix minor spelling, grammatical, and mechanical errors, but the style would take too long to revise. So I turn in a pretty good paper instead of a great paper.

I whip up a pretty good post instead of a great post, or a well thought-out, planned post.

But it's okay, that's just the way I work. I work best under pressure.



Nick said...

Ha! The first two posts of the month of writing use procrastination as their premise. I'm sensing a theme as to why we don't write more (in answer to your original question at fruit at the bottom)

Warren said...

As Jared's roommate for three years, I'll vouch for his procrastinating ways.