What separates the great and the normal can be procrastination. It is one of the deadly diseases that prevent success. I overheard this in the staff lounge a few days ago. My colleague has a paper to submit, and no matter how much time she has, she can never finish it early. She has a friend who can get As on a constant basis, even though she will usually submit the work half an hour just before the deadline.
I’m facing the same problem now, so even though I’m given a head start to do my work, I’m still feeling the pain of completing it. I went to a café on a Saturday to do my work, but after 3 hours of staring at the paper, I got sleepy and went home. Unfortunately, the moment I got home, I simply could not get started.
I’ve also been trying to survive my work by waking up at 3 or 4 am in the morning to complete whatever work I have. I sleep rather early, because the day is exhausting, and sleeping late is really bad for the complexion. Our skin repairs itself the best between 11pm and 1am, confirmed by Chinese physicians and also Western scientists. That’s why people get dark circles if they sleep late.
Unfortunately this is not a long-term solution, hence I need to learn to avoid procrastination. I need to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I dislike. Perhaps what Tim Ferris said in his book was right. We should not have long deadlines, because we will never stick to it. Instead, do things when they are required, because we work best under tight conditions.
If we submit our work late, we hold up other’s deadlines and their work. It’s really unfair when you have such co-workers. It’s probably because of this that I feel I face a lot of stress at work. It’s a bad habit I need to kick. One way to overcome it is to start on things when we get them, so that if there are any things that demand our time, they will not hold up our progress.
I really have no idea how my colleague manages to finish his work way before deadlines are set. He is really coping well with work, and he is getting promotions faster than others. That goes to show that when you overcome a deadly disease like procrastination, you can succeed.
One thing you can do to complete task on time is to shorten the time length required. Meeting deadlines is part and parcel of academic life and working life, so do preserve and do the work that is a pain in the ass before you enjoy yourself. It is only then you can enjoy yourself without any worries.