Monday, September 2, 2013

Managing Time

I am a god awful procrastinator.  I put off everything.  I hate doing anything today that I might be able to get away with doing tomorrow.  I have done it for years.  It is a horrible, horrible habit.  My family jokes (well, kinda jokes) that I will show up late for my own funeral.  Truth be told, I probably will.  They'll lose my ashes or something and I will not be present for part of my own memorial services.  Worse yet, I could see my entire body being misplaced or some shit like that, before they even cremate me.

I'm not the only person in my family that has been said about though.  My one older brother has the same tendency.  He was late to his wedding years ago.  Now, in his defense, he had a severe nosebleed (was that a clue??) that started about the time he was leaving for the church.  He spent about half n hour trying to get it to stop, which got him to the church well passed the time he was to be there for pictures.

Where did I get this habit?  I would suspect I got my habit from my daddy.  He had a way of starting projects and never getting them done.  My mother's bedroom she uses now is an example of one of those projects.  Pop started, and got about half finished, an addition to the back of our home place.  It is two floors, and from the outside it looks done.  On the inside of the house, the first floor bedroom he was adding has no heat, unless you count the woodstove in the basement.  There is no sheetrock on the walls.  There is no sheetrock or tiles on the ceiling.  The floor is just plywood, painted green by my sister years ago.  It is all open structure on the inside.  You can see the floor joists for the second floor while you lie on my mom's bed.  The sheets of drywall are neatly stacked on edge along the wall, just waiting for someone to hang them.  There is even an area that was suppose to become a small bathroom that has never had plumbing run to it.  Mom uses it as a closet and storage area of sorts.

The second floor is even worse.  There is a much larger bathroom area that has at least had a bathtub installed, but no plumbing.  There is no insulation, no drywall, no ceiling anything.  In fact, there are some places that are still actually open to the out of doors.  No joke!!  

Home is filled with evidence of my daddy's terrible time management skills.  He worked two or three jobs at a time.  When he would start a project, Mom would always ask him to please make sure it got completed.  He would promise, and it never happened.  The only project that my father ever completed was creating his children and earning a paycheck.  It isn't funny, but I have to chuckle.

I am so much like him when it comes to getting things done, especially about my schoolwork.  I am very quickly discovering that I cannot keep putting everything about my schoolwork off till the weekend.  If I do that, I end up turning in my work an hour or two late, which causes me to lose points.
I have never been good a managing time.  I plan on leaving early, to get to appointments early.  Usually, I end up walking in right when I am supposed to be there.  Occasionally, I am even late to appointments.  Being an insomniac and regularly not sleeping properly, if at all, has made it likely that at least twice a year, I will completely sleep through an alarm clock going off.  Then I am totally late to wherever, be it work, a doctor's appointment...whatever.

Time management is a valuable tool to do the kind of work that I have always done.  Talking on the telephone for a living, in a huge call center, requires that I be able to handle most customer calls within a set number of minutes.  It is referred to as talk time.  Talk time is a component of handle time, which also includes what is often labeled aftercall, when you note the account record and complete any forms or paperwork for the telephone call.  With exception to two months, way back in 1996, I have never met handle time at either of my call center positions.  The only reason I met handle time those two months is because the manager I had at the time had challenged me and then pissed me off to the point where I became the queen of short-n-sweet during my customer interactions.  I became what I hate about calling customer service numbers.  I became the bitchiest service rep in the building.  It literally made me ill, being short to the people that spoke with me.  But, I successfully met and beat the gauntlet thrown down by my upstart manager.  He was thrilled until he reviewed my recorded phone calls for the quality component of our monthly scores.  Needless to say, he was not pleased then.

I know that it is a matter of recreating a habit.  Changing from someone who puts everything off to the last minute to someone who gets the work or phone calls done on time requires that I alter years of very bad actions.  So far, I have not been successful.  I spent all night and all day completing the reading and the assignments for BOTH classes I have this session.  Of the three assignments each for both classes, two of the three were submitted on time, barely, but on time.  The remaining projects, both essays, were turned in after the deadline.  That means, I lose points off the assignment when it is graded by the instructor.  For someone who is very particular about grade point average, that is not a good thing.

Even though I knew I was behind on getting my work done, I still fiddled around with completing it.  I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.  Add to it the fact that I remembered on Saturday, August 31st that the annual inspection on my car was to run out at midnight that night...yep, yep, guessed it.  I am without a vehicle until I can get Percy inspected by my mechanic.  Lucky for me, my mechanic is pretty good about fitting me in when I do something like this because this ain't the first time.  As organized as I can be, I have had this happen before.  It has happened numerous times.  It will require that I drive illegally to the garage someday this coming week, where I will have to sit and wait until my wonderful mechanic can complete the annual inspection.  It is my own fault, I know.  It is still frustrating for me and for anyone else impacted by my chronic behavior.

So, how do I fix this issue?  Truthfully, it is a simple resolution.  I need to stop.  I need to change my habit.  I know that, and have always known that.  Yet I continue to put things off.  With all the positive changes I have made, this change has been one I have not been able to make stick.  The other is quitting smoking.  That's even worse.  Do I need to make these changes?  Absolutely!!  Discontinuing my decades of procrastination and quitting smoking are both important.  Can I do it?  Sure I can!  Will I do it?

Ask me tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. Judy, I know just what you mean. I have similar issues. The biggest part of my problem is underestimating the amount of time needed to get something done. Even when I try to give myself extra time it rarely seems to work.