09 November 2007

Alternatives for the 'P' word

I've come to the conclusion that this time of year breeds inactivity in the artwork sense. At least for me it does and it seems that I am not alone. We are almost at the end of the year and often we view it as almost being across the finish line. Its been a long twelve months, we've worked hard, we managed to survive it. And if you are like me and have Procrastination (for me it gets a capital letter) in the blood, its an excellent excuse to hold off on starting or working on new artwork.

But I got to thinking about the word Procrastination yesterday and I've decided I don't like the negative connotations it has attached to it. I figured I could come up with something better. Being an automotive engineer, I'm surrounded by a form of English that makes your eyes cross. Its called Office-ese and for those of you who are not familiar with it, here are a couple examples:

This is a good opportunity for advancement. What this really means is that the assignment you are getting is crap, no one else wanted it and you will most likely be working unpaid overtime to get it finished by the unrealistic deadline they've given you.

We need to examine the situation and come up with a timeline. The translation of this one is that we are awed by the enormity of how screwed up the project has become and we're starting to twitch because we probably don't have enough time to fix it.

We have the resources and capability to handle the situation. Duck and cover when you hear this one. This means your boss just got his head chewed off in a meeting with his boss because something wasn't done right or on time. You will be suffering the consequences of that meeting.

As you can see from the above examples, there is always a more friendly, if not obscure way, to state things. So I figued it was high time there were some alternatives for those of us who are cursed with Procrastination.

Try these on:

I'm a Planner. Why is it that no one faults a person who calls themselves a planner? These people are basically doing the same thing: they are dwelling on the preparation stage of a situation. Heck, some even get paid for it. I say we Procrastinators claim this one for ourselves.

I'm evaluating potential opportunites in order to properly prioritize my timeline. Okay, this is a classic Office-ese alternative. But it does sound better and if you say it to someone who isn't accustomed to the language, they will be so dumbfounded by it that you will be able to change the subject before they realize what you just said. (Here's another one from my buddy Tom who is also an engineer: "I'm assessing probably permutations before enacting implementation." Makes your eyes water, doesn't it? Imagine sitting through a three hour meeting with that kind of babble going on. Ack.)

I'll get back to work on this when my project stops talking so much, its making so much noise that I can't concentrate. This too is also effective. Often its the opposite problem of the work not speaking enough but we've all had a few projects that just won't shut the hell up until they are finished. Anyone who is not an artist will not understand the idea of inanimate objects speaking so they will most likely just back away slowly and decide that Procrastination is one of your better attributes.

I needed to clean. This one is most excellent because it screams normality. Never mind the fact that you can no longer refer to the dust in your house as dust bunnies since they've long ago morphed into dust cattle. No one needs to know that. And its often important to point out that the cleaning activites rarely extend to the room/space designated as the studio.

So you can see, we don't have to bear the burden of the nasty tag called Procrastination. Its all in how you spin it. Now if you excuse me, I need to go plan something and clean...


bj parady said...

I read online the other day that the world's worst procrastinator actually gets things done on time...

julia said...

I start a million projects this time of year, Christmas presents, getting the house ready for guests, etc. If I start a million of them at once, I can switch when I get bored to another. Eventually I just want to get them all done and I do, usually just in time with glues still wet as I gift it.