procrastination affliction

July 29, 2010

a sort-of confessional
i am a whiz at getting the little things done. i thrive on little mini-deadlines — a daily list of tasks, for example. but — and this might surprise some of you to read this — the BIG stuff has always thrown me for a loop! in college, i was pretty organized and kept up with day-to-day things, like reading for classes and science problem sets. but when it came to the BIG projects, i was totally the queen of procrastination, leaving papers and the more intimidating assignments for the very last second.

unfortunately, eight years post-graduation (how did THAT happen?), i still suffer from an element of this affliction. in fact, the more terrifying a project is (back then: senior thesis; now: grant-writing) the more likely i am to stress over it hardcore yet manage to avoid it completely.

i do not recommend this strategy. at all.

i get filled with an uneasy sensation whenever i see several of such projects on my plate. right now, there are 3:

✔ research proposal (due august 9)
HLS presentation (to be given august 14)
✔ reproductive endo talk for department meeting (august 9)

the truth is, i’ve already DONE a lot of the legwork for the research proposal and the HLS talk. but i am at the ‘actually write the powerpoint/put together the final document’ stage on both, and i can feel myself starting to get nervous and overwhelmed. so of course, i’ve been studiously avoiding each of them.

time to break up this procrastination party!
once these projects are over with, i am very likely to have 3 more on the horizon of similar size and scope. in fact, i suspect this is just going to be my new reality during fellowship. but living with the aforementioned uneasiness is unpleasant and ineffective — honestly, i think that procrastination erodes my soul.

so, i have decided to stop. triage and prioritizing are necessary realities, but always shoving the biggest items to the bottom of the list — not so much. everything i have read on the subject suggests breaking up big projects into smaller tasks, so that is what i will start with. the other thing i am considering is dedicating a minimum amount of time (to be done during the work day OR at home) to big projects only.

how do you manage big projects? any prior procrastinators out there who have reformed? share your secrets! (please!).

off to run — without further delay, of course! luckily, workouts are not something i tend to push off until ‘later.’

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7.28.10

workout: 30 minutes elliptical (levels 9 – 12) and 30 minutes lower body strength training

cooking light quesadilla: chicken, peaches + melty pepper jack = who knew?


served with the season’s bounty:


local yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers

board prep: 2nd half of ‘prevention’ section of LYW.