Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 75 - Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life

Twelve days have passed without me posting.
Twelve eventful days.
During that time, my country has voted to stay within the UK, to my disappointment, and I have been promoted. The term has started properly and we've got through a week of teaching and nothing has gone wrong. Yet.
I may go back and fill in the blanks another time, but I'd much rather just keep on going for the time being.

Half of the problem for a high functioning procrastinator like me is that we have excellent plans for tomorrow. As the days pass us by, our deadlines move steadily into the future, keeping a parallel course. As long as tomorrow is the day we start our new gym regime, research project, rewritten slides, etc., we can feel not too awful about ourselves, enough to carry on with life.

And life doesn't stop happening, especially in academia. The emails keep on coming in that need to be answered today, the students have crises that need to be addressed today, and suddenly you have to teach the class that you were going to prepare tomorrow a week ago. This is all familiar territory for many of us and we make a virtue of our ability to cope with whatever life and our institutions throw at us, all the time entertaining the illusion that we will do better tomorrow.

So how do we stop the treadmill and actually address this? I don't actually know, and I'm in the process of trying to work it out. So far, I'm not doing a great job, but I'm doing better than I have in the past, which has to count for something surely. I suppose part of the problem is that every successful solution to this sort of dilemma is not just one solution, but is a concatenation of a series of coping strategies. It is unrealistic to organise your entire life and expect it to run to plan tomorrow, but better to address it in phases. This requires a bit of analysis of what it is you want to address. What will make a difference to tomorrow? No. What will make a difference to today? Implement one phase. Don't get annoyed that you haven't changed everything. Be patient. Make realistic plans over a series of weeks instead of just trying to change tomorrow. No. Instead of just planning to change tomorrow.

So tomorrow I'd better do something about that.
Or at least try.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home