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Deadlines, deadlines

Friday, January 06, 2012

My work revolves around them: 5000 words for next Tuesday. That's ok, I'll start tomorrow. But in fact, my whole life is governed by deadlines. Lose 5kg by next April? That's fine, I'll just have another chocolate. Send Christmas cards by December 5th? No problem, I'll start next Tuesday (after the 5000 words!). Except that suddenly the deadline is upon me and I haven't even started. (Well, the words usually get translated!) Suddenly it's April and I haven't lost any weight, or it's December 5th (or later) and my cards are not even bought, let alone written and posted. And so it goes on...

Perhaps I ought to get it into my procrastinator's head that really, whatever I have to do, I should start NOW. As in "No, you will not have that second chocolate, because you don't need it and you do need to lose 5kg." Or "How about buying the cards (or whatever) early and writing a couple a day?" So how can I change my attitude to a "Do it now" one instead of a "Wait until the very last minute - or even later" one? Any suggestions welcome, but not on a postcard please, as you might not get around to doing it either!!

Ahem, except that I actually did say to myself a few minutes ago, as I was about to do something else, "No, sit down and write this now instead of just imagining you will in a few minutes/days/weeks." TADA!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm curating an exhibit right now - and I'm behind schedule. However, I think of the time when I wasn't doing the work as "percolating." If I don't allow myself that time to drift, I just can't cope. Now, when it's crunch time, I'm more able to focus. I also have that thought at the back of my mind that it WILL get done, it will get done beautifully, and it will get done on time. Do you think that too, or do you think it won't get done?

    How strange, I don't have that confidence at all when it comes to weight-loss. At the back of my mind, I think it can't be done. Just shows you, it's all in your mind!
    1778 days ago
  • CELLO23
    (belated visit) Can so relate to this - My work is also deadline-driven and so I HAVE to achieve those work things, but find it hard to keep all the other plates spinning at the same time, especially when it gets hectic.
    I've resorted to keeping a procrastination diary to find out what's at the bottom of it, and more importantly, what works. I've now got a timer and am using a version of the Pomodoro technique (basically 25-min units of focused time). This helps me crank on with work I'm resisting, such as marking!
    Just sharing in case this is of any help!
    Cello emoticon
    1778 days ago
    I can completely relate to you on this one!! I am Queen Procrastinator!! I really need to follow your lead.
    Good luck with the 5000 words, I have to admit that I'm glad it's not me.
    2235 days ago
    I can completely relate - I discovered last summer what being a procrastinator was! FlyLady helped me a lot - if I set my timer for 10 minutes and focus on what I have to do, then I can do much more than I imagined. Ok, it won't work with 5,000 words (or the papers I have to mark) but it can for hoovering or writing a few cards...
    Good luck for the translation!
    2242 days ago
    What works the best for me is to make lists by priority... I so love crossing things once they are done!!! I wish you lots of courage for the 5,000 words, it doesn't sound fun at all. :(
    2242 days ago
    TADA! you did.
    not procrastinating is not something that is one of my specialties, as you well know. but i think it might conceivably help to write them down, and to seriously prioritize them. yes, work has to get done. but one should usually be able to squeeze in something around them ... besides surfing, mailing lists, etc etc.
    i have been procrastinating writing back to thank you for all of your positive comments. will write offline now, while the spanish tutor is here. emoticon
    2242 days ago
  • BIGDOG18
    2242 days ago
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