I have always maintained that I work better under pressure. It’s one of those little lies one tells oneself when their hair is on fire and they’re freaking out because the deadline of whatever is looming. It’s much the way I now explain my timeliness or lack thereof. I credit my friend, SJ, with this explanation for her husband’s frequent tardiness – “he’s too optimistic.” You’ve heard me label myself an eternal optimist but this is a little different and a bit more delusional. Ultimately, I tend to be 5-10 minutes late for things (especially events that seem to include my always punctual in laws) and come roaring in breathless, apologetic and generally in denial about the fact that I’m even late. Because, see, I felt I had enough time to get that last call made, last email sent, iron that shirt, feed the dogs, scrape the car windshield, whatever. I was just sure I had left enough wiggle room to arrive on the dot. I see no reason to be early but I was raised to always be on time so it feels like an insult to my upbringing when I can’t get it together enough to even pull that off. So I’m labeling my tardiness as “overly optimistic.” I can see my mother-in-law rolling her eyes as she reads this. Hey, Carol, at least I’m trying to own it!
Back to the procrastination gene with which I was overly endowed. There is an awesome demotivator poster from despair.com that a friend got me years ago. It has a lovely photo with the phrase, “Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now,” inscribed underneath. I don’t necessarily admit to the laziness but I will totally embrace the last minute. When I did advertising and PR, we had to produce advertising campaigns with catchy phrases and images. Since I’ve already explained that I do my best creative work under pressure, why would I even start on such a project more than a couple days before it’s due? I may or may not have come up with a fantastic slogan for a tourism proposal the very day it was due. And it was brilliant! And we got the job! So who says this system isn’t working for me?
Well, probably the poor folks like Jeriann (my lone, amazing employee), my family, co-workers, friends and anyone else who is around to experience the collateral damage. They’re the victims of my crazed moods, frantic phone calls and flying emails.
I really have tried to get better about this last minute business and have succeeded in several areas. Now, instead of ironing all the linens for Thanksgiving 20 minutes before the guests arrive, I do it the day before. Same with polishing the silver. I even try to cook some dishes ahead of time or – gasp! – prep for other dishes the day before. I have found this makes the actual day of Thanksgiving much more pleasant and, dare I say it, relaxed. But I see no need to make this a trend.
All this to tell you that it has taken me a year. Yes, almost to the day, a year to create a new CVC website. Knowing me as you now do, you realize I didn’t work on the website for the entire year. Oh, no. I waited until I had a firm deadline and then I went warp speed. But wow! What an achievement!
Hie thyself immediately to www.sheridancvc.org. I am insanely proud of this sucker and it was worth the pain and suffering. Everything we could have ever wanted on our website plus Jeriann and I can update, add and tweak it all the time painlessly. Melanie Araas did all the hard work and since she’s worked with me for over 8 years, she knows how I roll. It wouldn’t be an Amy project if there wasn’t an email that had a subject line of, “!!!!!!!”
So in this season of holiday mania (witness the line at the post office or UPS), comfort yourself with the fact that you might think you’re behind but you’re probably not as behind as I am. Did I mention I haven’t shipped my niece’s presents to Virginia yet? And further, chant to yourself that you work better under pressure and you’re overly optimistic. No one might buy it but you’ll find yourself soothed and justified.