Definitely not an Amateur Crastinator

There has to be something wrong with me. Here I am, tons of down time, deadlines far away on the horizon, and I mentally run through all the things that are going to be due in a matter of days or weeks. After considering each one, I say, “OK. I think I’ll marathon The League, because that’s the best use of my time and I’ve got plenty of time before that stuff is due.”
The day before assignments are due, “I’d better start working on that… right after I catch up on the Daily Show… I need to know what’s going on in the world. And I’d better follow that with Colbert, it’s such a good combo.” Hours later: “Oh, man, I’m beat. First thing tomorrow I’m gonna hit that paper hard.” The next day I’m being lazy again, or I’m doing family-centric activities that I justify because, truly, they are the sort of things I ought to be doing, but now I’m doing them at the expense of the assignment that is due by midnight. Then the evening rolls around, Gotta cook dinner, I’m a good husband and dad and a great cook and I don’t get to cook dinner during the week working on nights. After dinner, 8PM: “Let’s grind this out. Shouldn’t take but a few hours.” I find that I have once again committed the planning fallacy, an underestimation of how long it will take to do something. Not only that, I didn’t read the syllabus well the first time, this is much more work than I anticipated.
3 AM, eyes bleary, done. No time to proofread. Good thing I’m such a good rough drafter, or so I think. Now just submit the file… what? The dropbox is closed?! A terse, barely coherent email to the professor, in which I’m sure I don’t take any responsibility for the fact that it’s my fault I’m turning stuff in late. Where do I get off, huh? This has happened, with slight variation, for the past three quarters of a year.
So now I’m in a trough, if you will, where nothing is due immediately and I have room to breathe. What I should be doing is getting in front of the things that are going to be due in less than two weeks, and planning for things after that. That’s what professionals do. Do I have what it takes to make it outside of the military, where all you have to do is show up and do as you’re told?
I want to think that if I’m the master of my destiny, I’ll be able to work hard. But right now, I’m not convinced. Not until I get things done ahead of time, especially now, when I need to get things done ahead of time so that I can start working on things due a little bit further out.
I was using Evernote the other day and I happened on a checklist I had made for myself. I was attempting to institute a productivity secret I had read about on Reddit, Don’t Break the Chain. I couldn’t even start the chain, I broke the first link. You can’t even call that a chain! That’s just a faulty metal ring. Who are these people?
That Evernote checklist was months ago. After doing some more research on Don’t Break the Chain, I realized I needed to give it another shot. Following the advice of a Youtube video led me to putting things on my Google calendar. I’m not sure how to mark things done, now I’ve just got three tasks repeating every day. When I do those four things I’m going to put a big X on my calendar. We’ll see how she goes.


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