Maybe I’ll post this tomorrow

It takes one of Oprah’s minions to come up with a rebranding this obvious:

Procrastinators may have a habit of putting off important work. They may not ever get to projects or leave projects half finished. Importantly, when they do complete projects, the quality might be mediocre as a result of their lack of engagement or inability to work well under pressure.

What [my client] presented was something qualitatively different: a clear sense of deadlines, confidence that the work would be complete on time, certainty that the work would be of superior quality and the ability to subconsciously process important ideas while doing other — often recreational — activities.

I realized I was looking at a strength, one I called “incubator.”

Well, no, you’re actually looking at a subset of procrastinators and trying to promote them beyond their pay grade. I do this myself:

Project due in two weeks? I’ll tell you it can’t be done for three and make both of us believe it, and then finish on day nine.

Nor am I alone in this:

I’m still calling myself a procrastinator. Why? Because it’s more acceptable to be self-deprecating and doesn’t overly inflate expectations. Calling yourself an incubator, however, is tainted with arrogance. And you sound like a supermarket rotisserie chicken stand.

Besides, you’re assuming that we need the eggs.

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2 comments

  1. Jennifer »

    18 February 2010 · 2:38 pm

    Sweet! I’ll send that to my boss. On Monday. Maybe. If I remember.

  2. fillyjonk »

    19 February 2010 · 7:25 am

    “Incubator”? Ewwww. At my workplace, the “incubator” is where you put the petri plates to let the bacteria grow. Stinky things come out of incubators.

    If I procrastinate (and I do, sometimes), it’s mainly because I’m thinking, “There’s no way I can do a good enough job on this to satisfy my standards” and it kind of paralyzes me from sitting down and starting. (Annie Lamott’s concept of the sh!tty first draft was pretty freeing, and I periodically have to remind myself about it.)

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