I have always worked best under pressure. If you want a job done, don't give me a month to do it, give me a deadline of tomorrow. If I have a month I can find a zillion reasons not to do it until it's due the next day. I can't say that I produce my best work that way because that's the way I have always worked. Who knows what kind of work I would produce if I took my time and did it slowly?
When I have a job to do is when the dishes get washed, laundry gets folded, drawers get straightened, and things get baked.
When procrastination is at its worst is when the job involves transcription. I worked as a professional transcriptionist for pretty much most of my professional life and there was a point at which the thought of putting earphones in my ear and transcribing what I heard became so abhorrent that it made me physically ill.
At the time when The Psychiatrist finally figured out I really didn't want to do his work any more I had a stack of untranscribed tapes that would have filled a drawer. I don't think he had a clue how many untranscribed tapes I had. But he had this kind of hypnotic, monotone voice when he dictated. I worked for him for thirty years and my body reached a point where it just rebelled against typing one. more. damn. tape.
So we were both happy when we agreed to part ways, amicably.
But that experience has left me with such an aversion to transcription that I've learned to do telephone interviews where I transcribe as my subject is speaking In truth, these are not the best interviews because I really like the face to face encounters and ask better questions face to face, but I also take rotten notes and so I must record the interview, and if I record it, it must be transcribed before an article can be written. In truth, it's one of the reasons I avoid doing feature articles any more (that and the fact that I make 50% less writing them now than I did when the paper said they were cutting my income in half "just for one year"(yeah right), due to newspaper cutbacks, though they take 50% + more time than a review to write).
But I recently did an interview for an article which, if I get it written, will appear in the paper next week. I did the interview 3 weeks ago because it was my subject's last day in Davis and my only chance to do an interview. It was the kind of interview I love, where you toss out a question and get back a perfectly "written" article. All you have to do is copy it to paper...after transcription, of course.
So I've had this tape (the interview was only an hour) for 3 weeks and as of this morning, I had transcribed one sentence. Today was going to be The Day I would finish it.
By dinnertime, I had folded 2 loads of laundry, had a delightful 2 hour coffee with my friend Kari Peterson downtown, shopped for Davis postcards and little books to send to Brianna and Lacie tomorrow. I'd done a load of dishes, written a letter to one of my Compassion kids and edited the page of letters from the Compassion kids, did some organizing on my desk, updated my review blog, wrote a note to Jeri about the current review of Cinderella, and rebooted my computer, as requested by one of my anti-virus programs. The screen told me it would "take awhile" for the updates to upload, so I sat down to just look at the current rerun of SVU on today's marathon. Of course it was one I had never seen before, so naturally I had to watch it to the end. I noticed there was no information on a calendar to the "Next Door" web site for the beerfest Walt is organizing, so I made one for him. I had looked at the dictation machine, but had not touched it and it was time for Jeopardy and then of course dinner and then we had to watch the finale of Amazing Race and Grimm. It is now 10 p.m. and there is a PBS special on King Henry VIII's palace at Hampton Court (which we toured many years ago). I have the show set to record tomorrow morning at 4 a.m., but I may sit down and watch it now too.
And of course I wrote this journal entry... and now it's much too late to start transcribing.
I can surely finish off the transcription in a couple of hours tomorrow morning, can't I? Except I have to take my mother's laundry to her, and STARZ will let me see the new Outlander in the morning....