I’m currently in the middle of one of those HR communications workshops. On the first day, we were all asked to come up with three words that describe us. What a loaded question to kick off this strange gathering of similarly employed yet vastly diverse humans! Who would I be? Work Jacquie? Couch Jacquie? Gym Jacquie? Mom Jacquie? Party Jacquie? I reread the prompt for clarification. It said: “List three words that best describe your behavior in the primary role you play.” Which primary role?? I agonized over my words for the duration of the 3 minute icebreaker, then I wrote: 1. Accepting, 2. Optimistic, 3. Late.
These descriptors pretty much cover the many faces of me. We went around and shared our words, there were lots of “friendly”, “goal oriented”, “happy”, “focused” people in the room. I received a hearty chuckle for my #3. Then we had to talk in small groups (gag) about our words, and how each of them could be misunderstood or perceived as negative by someone else. I offered that my acceptance might be perceived as passive, my optimism could be seen as naiveté, and my lateness would maybe be interpreted by others as ambivalence. When I got to that last part, someone in my group said: “when you said ‘late’, I immediately assumed that you were a procrastinator.”
In my head – or should I say to my visible self, I was thinking of literal tardiness. It had been another one of those mornings at home and I had barely made it to this session on time. But might my invisible self have been surreptitiously outing me as a slacker?
What’s wrong with procrastination, anyway? It’s a very effective time management tool. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve worked best under pressure. If you give me a deadline that’s six weeks away, I’ll mark my calendar for 40 days from now and then I’ll do it. If you give me a task and then tell me that you’ll remind me when the deadline is getting close, I’ll put it right out of my head until I get your reminder.
I'd like to expand on this, I really would. But I just got a reminder that the workshop proposal I wrote last August needs to be presented on Friday.
Plenty of time.