REBUS St. Louis

“I work better under pressure,” and nine other lies I tell myself.
January 18, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Well, 2010 is here. Another new year. Another New Year’s Resolution. My resolution this year? To stop procrastinating.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m only writing about procrastination because, as I write this, I’m procrastinating. Hell, I’m probably procrastinating as you read this. And I, like many people, tend to justify it by saying, “I work better under pressure.”

That got me thinking … What else do I lie to myself about?

10 Lies I Tell Myself

Lie: I work better under pressure.

Truth: Complete crap. Sure, when something’s due really soon, I have less time to screw around, so I work a little quicker, but do I work better? No way. When I’m pressed for time, I don’t dig as deep as I’d usually want to because, well … I don’t have the time to. There’s also way less time spent editting.

Lie: I watch YouTube videos for inspiration.

Truth: I watch them because they’re funny and/or I’m bored. Telling myself that I’m doing it for inspiration helps me feel less guilty. Unless you’re my creative director, in which case, I really do watch them for inspiration.

Lie: My parents don’t get what I do for a living.

Truth: They don’t really care. Instead of wasting time explaining how unglamorous my job is, I let them think I make tons of commercials and go to shoots on South American beaches. Ignorance is bliss.

Lie: I can’t stand Taylor Swift.

Truth: If one of her songs comes on the radio, I roll up the windows and turn up the volume. What do I do when someone’s in the car with me? I scoff, change the channel and die a little on the inside.

Lie: Things would be better at a different agency.

Truth: Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But I’d be lying if I said I never thought this to myself (or yelled it drunkenly at a bar) when I got frustrated. This is of course, a bold-faced lie. Every agency gets frustrating because you invest tons of time and energy making stuff. That’s part of why I like the business. If you never get frustrated, you either don’t care that much about what you do, have the perfect stress-free job or take a lot of drugs.

Lie: I brainstorm better at bars.

Truth: I drink at bars. Brainstorming may or may not actually occur.

Lie: I’d do better work if I had more time.

Truth: This is just the first reaction I usually have to a tight deadline. While in some cases it may be true, it’s mostly just a defense mechanism. After all, almost every deadline is tight. This is advertising. Get used to it.

Lie: I’m not good at presenting work.

Truth: Trust me, I’m not saying I’m good at presenting work. I’m just saying I’m probably not as bad as I think. When I’m actually enthusiastic about an idea, it shows, which is a good thing. Of course, there are those times when I present an idea I’m not terribly proud of, and that shows, too. So even though I should probably work on my presentation skills, I think the real takeaway here is that I should work harder to come up with more ideas that get me excited and not settle for some that “aren’t that bad.”

Lie: The next assignment will be better.

Truth: No it won’t. Whenever I start thinking that, it means I’ve conceded that the current project is a wash, so that project suffers. When you’re only motivation is the hope that your next project will be better than what you’re already working on. You’re screwed. The next project will probably be exactly the same.

Lie: Making lists is easy.

Truth: Couldn’t think of a 10th lie.


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