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Leftovers, Procrastination, and the Desire to Wow Clients

April 16, 2010

Leftovers

I have this weird thing I do with food, especially leftovers, but also fruits and veggies. My husband and I will make the food (or buy the veggies, or what-have-you) and I’ll enjoy the leftovers for a day or to, but since there are only two of us, and Ben eats at work more often than not, there is still plenty left even after those first days.

The smart thing would be to freeze the remaining leftovers, but I always think, “Nah, I’ll eat them.”

And then I don’t.

And then, five or six days later, I’ll look in the fridge and remember that those leftovers are there, and think, “Are they still good?” Of course, instead of checking, and eating them if they’re still good or throwing them away if they’re not, I just close the fridge and find something else to eat. I don’t know why I do that. It’s as thought I’m hoping that someone else will come along and either eat them or deal with it.

But of course “they” don’t, so, eventually, when I’m going through to make room for new stuff after a grocery run, it’s then that I take the time to go through and get rid of all the science experiments. Which usually means I lose a piece of Tupperware here and there, because some of them are so gross that I can’t handle the thought of opening them up and emptying them out just to save the Tupperware.

The Desire to Wow Clients

When I take on a project, my first goal is always to give 110% and really impress people with my efforts, my thoughtfulness, and my quick response to their needs. It’s actually fairly easy for me to see what would need to be done in order to really go above and beyond, and most of the time I’m right there, on the ball.

Sadly, as much as I hate to acknowledge it, I’m only human, and sometimes I procrastinate.

You see, that funny thing that I do with leftovers, is actually somewhat of a recognizable pattern in my life.

How does that pattern apply to projects?

  • Get new project,
  • Work on it for a few days,
  • Get distracted by something else and let it lapse,
  • Realize that I’ve let it lapse, despite my good intentions,
  • Get overwhelmed or frustrated that I’ve let it lapse, but instead of doing something proactive about it, I just do something else (Mmm… procrastination, always such a joy),
  • And then finally, after some impetus (not sure what), I go through all of my lapsed projects in a whirl and either finish them, or at least them to the next step.

Of course, by that point it’s too late to impress anybody. But at least they’re done and off my conscience.

So why do I do it?

Part of who I am is someone to likes to take on challenges and learn new things. Part of why I enjoy that is the thrill of the new, and the burst of energy and excitement (the honeymoon period) that comes with it. It’s kind of like falling in love. But I don’t just experience this with large projects, I experience it with all projects (and I suspect I’m not alone in that). And then the “fun” is over and what I’m left with is hard world, and my inner 12-year old stomps her feet and says, “I didn’t sign up for hard work, I signed up for fun. Duh.”

Over the years, recognizing this tendency of mine, I have worked to combat it, and so now about 80% of the work that I do I finish quickly, ahead of schedule, and above expectations. But every so often I fall back into that pattern of procrastination, which is incredibly frustrating. The best fix for it is simple willpower, and practicing doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, even if you’re the only one around.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Frances permalink
    April 16, 2010 5:18 pm

    I know what you are talking about , sister. I resemble your remarks. I f we could just stay on the honeymoon. SR says, “I thought we did.”

    • April 16, 2010 6:20 pm

      Ha! I wish I resembled my remarks a little less than I do, but what are you gonna do.

      Good to hear from you! Thanks for reading.

      How are things up in AK?

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