Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time management can suck it

I am fully aware that I need to be awake by 4:30am in order to have a shower, look decent for work, and arrive on time. This doesn’t change the fact that, 9 times out of 10, when my alarm clock starts blasting, I will reach over and beat it like Ike beat Tina. Like a teenage boy after he gets his first look at a naked woman. Like a convict...

What I mean to say is – I will pound it quite vigorously and with apparent relish, effectively putting it out of commission and, consequently, I am often late. My alarm clock has now taken so many beatings that the volume won’t stay at one level and the radio stations skip around on their own, likely seeking to dodge the next blow.

Obviously work is my biggest issue since I’m about the furthest thing from a morning person you will find. I sleep like the dead and when woken suddenly, tend to swing first and ask questions later. But my violent tendencies aside (unless you’re into that sort of thing...’sup.), I have issues with time in general.

My boss is in a constant tizzy over my lack of time management skills. “You have got to get here on time”, she says at least once a week. It’s only thanks to her leniency and my apparent charm that I’m able to continue trucking along at a snail’s pace, popping in, breathless and disheveled, with the next excuse on the tip of my tongue.

I like the idea of a schedule; it’s the execution that eludes me. See, I’ve been a top notch procrastinator since I was a child (though I can’t remember a time that I ever willingly missed a meal...). It was generally the mundane, everyday tasks that were neglected – like homework and chores. As an adult its mostly important paperwork, phone calls, making dinner, and other household related things.

It was all well and good when I was putting off the boring tasks that had to be done, but I’ve now started putting off the stuff I enjoy doing. In the past, when there was something I was really looking forward to, I’d jump up and go through all the preparations to get me to my goal as quickly as possible - including vaulting out of bed when the alarm went off. However, my procrastinating has reached an all time high. It is no longer selective.

Take last night for example.

I was texting my would-have-been date from this past weekend. (For those that don’t follow my every move on Twitter, he had to cancel because he and his child came down with strep throat.) We were discussing having dinner together tonight. It was decided that we would catch up this afternoon and if we’re both still available we’ll go, and I will stay in the city at The Grandmother’s house so I don’t have to drive all the way home so late on a work night.

A seemingly simple plan, yes? No! There is a part two that the man has no idea about. Preparations, people! And as soon as we ended our conversation I began laying it all out in my head:

“Ok. Since it’s highly likely that this is going to happen tomorrow night, I need to get moving and get some shit done. Let’s see....laundry! I need those black lace boy shorts. Just in case, it’s not like I plan on removing them or anything, but what if the wind blows my dress up? He should know that even though I have no intention of sleeping with him on the first date, I’m wearing the underwear that says ‘could if I wanted too bitch, HA’!

Um, I need to pack options...clothes to change into after work. I’ll get ready at The Grandmother’s. I’ll already have my hair and makeup done so that won’t take long. Let’s see, feel the! That’s shameful. I won’t have time to do it in the morning so as soon as Glee is over it’s time to shower and shave those bad boys. And should I maybe make sure the rest looks good? No. No, if I do that I’ll probably sleep with him. I mean, yes! I should...just in case there’s a freak accident and we end up in the same hospital room and the nurse doesn’t cover my bits. That is a completely valid excuse.

So let’s put it all together now, tick it off on the fingers: Glee, laundry, shower, shave, exfoliate, pack, go to sleep and wake up thirty minutes early in order to have time to do my makeup extra well. Go to work, go to TG’s, model three or four clothing options while TG frowns disapprovingly and asks questions about his religious background, meet him for dinner, go to the bathroom at some point to check nose for boogers, teeth for food, and Tweet about how drunk I’m getting on wine.

Should I write all of this down? Nah...Totally got it.”

However things didn’t exactly happen that way. As soon as Glee was over, I launched into full procrastination mode.

“I’ll just finish this one episode of Mad Men that I was watching before Glee came on. I won’t watch the other two that are on this disk. Just the one.”

A little over two hours later:

“Fucking fuck – its 11:15! Sigh. Oh well, I’ll just set my alarm for 4am. I’ll have plenty of time to do everything in the morning.”

4:30am this morning:

“SLAM! SLAM! SLAM! SLAM! Fuck you, Tina!”

6:15am this morning:

“SHIT! 15 minutes! SLAM! This is all your fault!”

And that, my friends, is how it is done.

That means that its 11am and I’ve done none of the preparations on my list, other than throwing all of my outfit choices, makeup, and toiletries in a bag and running out the door. On the plus side, I was only four minutes late for work this morning. Unfortunately, I’m now going to TG’s to shower on my lunch break so my hair will look decent by this evening, then going back after work to finish the process. You know, if I was a dude and I didn’t have to go through all of this grooming stuff, I probably wouldn’t be such a procrastinator. Maybe. It’s so tiring!

Anyway, my mother says that there is something mentally wrong with me, that no one can knowingly put off things that are really important without having a screw loose. “You just sit there with your damn book! Get up! Get up! What are you looking at? There’s nothing there! Did you pay that bill? Did you get the clothes out of the dryer? Did you call and make that appointment? Well, did you?!”



“I dunno. I was...hey! Listen to this! Do you hear that? ‘Dun nuh! Dun nuh, dun nuh, dun nuh! I want it with whipped cream on it baby gimmie gimmie gimmie your loooooove!’ OMG, Ma, I love this song!”

“I’m going to kill you.”

Apparently, shocker of shockers, my mother is actually right. Not about killing me, I don’t think she has the stomach for that. But behold this sentence from Wikipedia: “Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological disorder.” Sigh. Of course, I’m forced to believe it because Wikipedia is the internet Bible for gangstas. Wicky wicky.

Unfortunately, though I searched for quite some time, I was unable to find a website that claims procrastination is hereditary. In fact, several of them shockingly claim that there is no possible way it could be. This was most disheartening and I’d all but given up on my plans to print out an article on the subject and share it with my mother. Until I read this sentence:

“Procrastinators often have great difficulty in seeking help, or finding an understanding source of support, due to the stigma and profound misunderstanding surrounding extreme forms of procrastination.”

In your FACE ma! All you had to do was be an understanding source of support, instead of nagging me all the fucking time.

“Why haven’t you found a new therapist? Why can’t you make a stinking appointment with a therapist? Huh, huh, why!”

It’s simple! I can’t, it’s too difficult to seek help! I am doomed to circle the drain of task aversion (including, but not limited to, the task of finding a new therapist) until I’m eventually sucked down into the rusty pipes of underachievement and overwhelming failure. Whereupon I will be committed, someone will finally have done it all for me, and I can blame it all on my father in the therapy sessions they haul me to three times a day in a straight jacket. I win.

Sweet! Lunch time!


Just Plain Tired said...

Fortunately for you, most guys will be overwhelmingly pleased if you just show up. We're simpletons like that. ;)

Simple Dude said...

It's tough for me to relate... I am one of those hate-able people who is kind of anal about time. I am rarely late for anything, and can be a bit of a bitch about other people being so.

I know, i know, i'm a jackass and I fully admit it. The weird thing is I am not uptight about anything else in life. I'm a disorganized mess 90% of the time!

jerrod said...

Every time there is a wicky wicky...I'm happy.

Well done. But you knew that....

Eric said...

There's no time like an hour ago.

dirt clustit said...

not to split hairs or anything (in fact I prefer smooth clean shaven) but in your first couple of paragraphs it appears that the series of events you describe would sequentially add up to you being late (which I think is a better alternative to arriving prematurely)

it's a very well written post so please don't take it personally. It's just that I am trying to be a part of the disambugation of the internet in order to form a more perfect union, of less confused and more sexually active persons of middle aged Americans

Anonymous said...

Oh god, I so relate . . .

Although I am rarely late for work or an appointment, I do a wonderful job of task aversion in general (like now for instance) and will wait til the last possible minute (or maybe a little later) to leave for said appointments.

That also explains why I drive like a maniac. But I'm not late!

Beta Dad said...

I'm not familiar with this concept of "procrastination." Maybe I'll look it up. After I read twenty more blog posts, and before I do the dishes.

I can't believe all the shit you do to get ready for a date. This guy better at least use that Axe ball-scrubber thing. said...

Oh dear gawd! 4:30 am?! That's uncivilized. No wonder you can't get up that early! That seems like cruel and unusual punishment. And all to go to work?! Not even a vacation or anything! Blehk.

theTsaritsa said...

Get your priorities straight! Or use the commercial-time to do your chores!

The mad woman behind the blog said...

God I love ha you write!
I was racing through you post just like a classic procrastinator who has a monkey on her back (or a full Google reader).

When you're done with it, I may need to borrow your straight jacket!

Baglady said...

4:30? No one should have to get up at 4:30. If I can drag myself out of bed half an hour before I have to leave the house I am proud of myself.

Have you considered looking at sleep cycles BTW? So that your alarm goes off when you're sleeping lightly not when you're in REM so that it's less of a shock.

Mind you, I should do that too. I am all good with the handing out of advice...not so much with the taking of it.

dirt clustit said...

one more thing, until you actually loose your job, doesn't that technically (by strict use of definitions) make you an amatuercrastinator?

jerrod said...

Dirt - are you drunk?

Ed said...

OMG. We could SOOOOOO be twins, missus the whole vagina and boobs thing, but plus the procrastination and always late/oversleep thing.

Hope the date goes well.
*wink,wink,knowing nod, fist bump*

dirt clustit said...

My breath may smell a little liquory but at this point in time I could definitely pass a breath-a-lizer.

So I am going to answer with this statement jerrod "No, I am not drunk, in fact I do not even drink alcohol anymore"

Shruthi said...

I'm this procrastinator person! I am. Every week, without fail there is a mail in my inbox that says - please ensure this is the last time you're late.
I'm humanly incapable of waking up in the mornings. MY alarm goes of at 6am and I'm out of bed two hours later, and that's on a good day!
Sigh. How I empathise with you...

Didactic Pirate said...

I'm naming my alarm clock Tina, in your honor.

Sara said...

You never fail to make me a million times more jealous of your writing every time I read a new post.

mylittlebecky said...

procrastination is the new black. lateforworkeverymorningfive!

Jenny DB said...

Glad to know i'm not the only one with chronic procrastination issues :)
love your blog.

Pearl said...

Ah. I remember those days. Up until 2:00, back up for work at 7:00. I was never late, but I didn't always put on fresh make-up, either...

Phew. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.


Sally-Sal said...

I firmly believe that the best sleep comes between beatings of the snooze button.

Alison said...

Preach it, sister.
I always have the best intentions, but then it's suddenly two hours later and too late to have any intentions.