Monday, October 12, 2009

I would have posted this two days ago, but…

Let me give you an insight into how things work behind the scenes here at The Panel:

  1. I send out the question to everybody on Monday or Tuesday, telling them I want them back by Saturday night.
  2. Thursday or Friday, I start pestering everybody for their answers.
  3. I keep on pestering throughout the weekend.
  4. Sunday the answers start trickling in, but I inevitably go to bed with at least one still out.
  5. I paste the last answer in whenever I get time on Monday and publish the post.

So, I asked The Panel:

Why do you procrastinate?

Big props to Mollie Katie for getting me her answer on Wednesday. For that, she goes first. Everybody else is in the order in which they’re received.

Responses after the jump:

• Mollie Katie: I procrastinate because I have a life, damnit! I've been sick off and on since we started this crazy venture known as The Panel, and because I'm in school I have makeup work. Which is what I *should* be doing now, come to think of it. And since not getting my work done has actual penalties in my actual life, I think I'll focus on that just now. It's not that I don't love The Panel, it's just that procrastination here has no consequences. See: Kristin, Michelle, and Jen's recent absences from The Panel's discussion.

• Jen: Let me just start this off by mentioning that I have known about needing to write this for a week. I am now just getting around to it. Typical.

The question this week was why do we procrastinate? I don’t know why most people put things off, but I have always lived by the saying, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?”.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with adrenaline and working better under pressure.  And maybe a pinch of laziness thrown in for good measure.  I know I was late the day I was born, because I couldn’t be bothered to make my grand entrance until absolutely necessary.

When I have a schedule to keep, I figure the deadline and work backwards. If 2pm is the time I then calculate to the minute when I need to start, how long it will take, etc. Let’s say it’s a project for school, due 8am Monday. It will take me 1 hour to complete. I need 1 hour to get to school, 1 hour to get ready, 4 hours to sleep. That means I start the project at 1 am on Sunday night. Those on Twitter will attest to that, as there were plenty of nights they read the posts about me having to start my homework and waiting until after Redeye was over at 1am. Or perhaps I am going to church. I try to go to Saturday mass at 5pm. Which means I need to start getting ready at 4:10 pm to be there by 4:45 pm. This means I frequently decide to go to mass at 9 am Sunday. Or maybe 11 am. There is always the 5 pm mass. 

You never hear about people that missed a flight and got on another one just to be killed in a crash, but you frequently hear about those that missed a flight only to later find out they narrowly escaped death by missing the original flight by seconds. However, when it’s a project I do try and talk myself out of waiting until the last second and doing things in a timely manner or finishing a project ahead of schedule, but it somehow takes the excitement out of life. The mystery of never knowing if I’ll complete a project or get to an appointment on time keeps me interested.  Which reminds me, I have about 30 seconds to transmit this……

• Kristin: Why do I procrastinate? So many reasons, so little time. That's why I procrastinate- there is just so little time in my day to get everything that needs to be done, done. I'm brilliant when it comes to scheduling and allotting time for the various "things" I need to do- in my head. When I attempt to follow through with said schedule....well, not so much. It's not my fault! I blame Bush....and Obama....and the I read somewhere that to be alive is to be driven. I'm alive and I do prefer to be driven, but so far the only place I go is where nothing is ever done and there's always more to do. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Oh who am I kidding? I only have myself to blame for my procrastination. I allow myself to become distracted by things like, oh, I don't know, say... Twitter, Facebook, the Activity Pit, music, annoyingly cute guys that like my sexy secretary heels. Who wouldn't get distracted by that? Frankly, at times I am so overwhelmed with all I need to do (so much that I don't know where to start) that its easier and almost a relief to be distracted from it all.

Plus, let's face it, I can honestly say that some of my best work has been done in those final moments. You know that moment- the heart racing, terror-filled last minute when the adrenaline courses through you veins at the exact same moment you're filled with inspiration that you had thought was long lost. That's when the real work happens. At least, it does for me. Being alive, being driven- it's enough for some, but I need more. I need a push, or perhaps a violent shove to get me to where I want to be.

• Houston: Why does it take me so long for me to meet the deadlines put forth by "The Panel?"  I honestly never thought about it as my days are like most everyone else.

I work for a telecommunications company called PHONECO* as a Tech Support Drone 3rd class.  I was a lab rat but during the last re-org I was moved back to tech support so I could share my upbeat demeanor and sparkling personality with all our technicians.

After I finish my day of crying, drinking and attempting suicide, I come home to my family where I am loved.

But... the kids need a college fund.

I'm not proud to admit this, but PHONECO* doesn't pay like it did before Y2K.  Daddy's got to make some money somehow and since I have the only job that is worse than selling women's shoes, I have to turn to the best I can find after hours.

pole dancer

That's right... I'm a stripper.

I know, you are shocked.  Prim and proper me, dropping trou to make some dough, but a guys got to do what a guys got to do.

Besides, it's a good paying gig.  Sometimes I can make seven or eight bucks in tips.

Someday my kids will be as smart as Joe Biden...

Wait, they already are! Can I quit shaking my moneymaker now? I know God gave it to me so I should flaunt it, but I keep throwing my back out with my dance routine.

*PHONECO may or may not be the real name of the company I work for.

• Justin: I was going to write something really long, and I had started it, but I’ve changed my mind. I’m just going to pass the blame onto all the other procrastinators out there. I figure that if they can do it, so can I.

So I do.

So there.

• Michelle: Why do I procrastinate? As I sit here procrastinating on writing this post, getting annoyed with myself for not knowing what to write, and getting distracted by all kinds of things, it strikes me that that could be reason number one why I procrastinate when it comes to writing these posts. I never know what to say, and therefore say nothing at all.

However, in the grander scheme of things, I am a procrastinator in all aspects of life, which has caused me untold problems, some of which have led directly to my current state of life. I read once that procrastination in some people is due to them being Type A personalities that are afraid they will never be able to be perfect, so they put things off until the last minute so they have an excuse when things don’t turn out well. That could perhaps be my problem as well, although I don’t think it causes all of my procrastination.

So, upon the suggestion of @Falahime, I will say this: “Alright, 2 paragraphs later, and I still haven't come up with a good reason as to why I procrastinate. I suck.” Maybe that’s why I procrastinate, because I don’t know what else to do and I know it’ll never be perfect. Good enough excuse as any.

Now, since I put off writing this until the last minute and have no time left to proofread, I hope it isn’t too bad, and semi-readable. If not, eh, I put it off until the last minute, so it’s not my fault, it was time constraints.


  1. Props to Michelle who hit the nail on the head. I'll have much more to say about procrastination...later.

  2. Michelle, have you been watching me? I use to do everything way ahead of time... finished my homework before I got home from school on the bus. Now except for getting to work on time ( I must not lose my minimum wage job ) I don't stress it. I've been in my apartment since June and the only things I've unpacked are the things I need to get by. Who said procrastination is a bad thing.

    Besides If I do get things done early I usually lose them, misplace them or forget all about It.