Be honest, dear monkeys...how many times have you said the following, or something else like it:
"I didn't start it until the last minute, because I work best under pressure. I need that pressure to motivate me to finish."
And then covered it up with the catch-all phrase that our generation uses to explain poor decisions: "I know, I know, it's terrible, but that's just how I roll."
I've been thinking a lot about time management and work ethic lately, since a good buddy of mine is doing the law school thing and still subscribes to that last-minute, midnight-oil burning approach to work. Doesn't matter if it's a five page paper or a fifty-page legal brief, whether there's actual research and reading involved or not, he simply refuses to start it until 6pm the night before it's due. Needless to say, the stress this produces likely leaves him with an ulcer by the time he's 30. And for a week leading up to the all-nighter, he won't go out or attend social functions: "Can't burn the midnight oil Flesh, I need it for the all-nighter I'm gonna pull on Sunday."
The bizarre thing--and this is the reason I bring this story to WSO today--is that he really thinks this is preparing him for work in the professional world. "Bosses are gonna ask for a lot of work on really tight deadlines, so I'm preparing myself for that," his logic goes.
No, you're not. You're preparing yourself to have a lot of bosses breathing down your neck about why you haven't started your project yet. As the entry-level guy you'll often be asked to "take the first crack" at a model (or a brief, in his case). At least, that's what I would argue if I'm interviewing this guy. To me, that says that you can't prioritize or be proactive unless you have a gun to your head.