Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fighting the Resistance

I procrastinate...a lot. I always have. I have been a last minute finisher since high school, throughout university and in varying degrees during my teaching career. It's not that I don't know what I need to do, often I spend a lot of time thinking and plannning what needs to be done - often writing a "To Do" list anywhere from three to ten times before actually starting it. I will agonise over the thinking processes behind things but then stay up till the wee hours of the morning the night before a big presentation to implement my big plans. A lot of the time this has worked for me, it's challenging and exciting for me to have to think quick and improvise. However, I must admit that there have been times when it's been an appalling failure and everything has fallen apart around me.

For example, the last three days I've known exactly what needs to get done before Wednesday (our first Student Free Day of the year, where I will be thrown into my new role with little to no preparation), I even had a colleague come over and help do some of the planning. I've written my list (three times to the count - once on paper, once on my touch and once on my igoogle page), I've got my random notations and footnotes to remind me what needs doing, I've had time...but nothing's happened so far. I literally sit down, open a word document, organise my notes and sit with poised fingers over my keyboard...waiting. As each day has ticked by I've gotten slightly more internally stressed about exactly how I make my rather long list get ticked off before the deadline.

The thing is this...I know eventually it'll get done but I need certain things to align and fall into place in order for it to happen. For example, the right mix of songs to flick through my playlist is essential to my productivity. The problem is I can't predict exactly which ones will work on any given day...what worked yesterday might not work today, then again, it might. Or I may have had just the right workout at taekwondo training - mind you, to hard a session and I'll be wiped, to soft and I'll have excess energy and I'll be squirming in my seat. Maybe I'm the Goldilocks of productivity.

126/365: Block it out

Image: "Block it out" by dotbenjamin @flickr

In all honesty, I am making excuses. I am not being disciplined, restrained, focused and therefore I am losing a battle with the Resistance. I am resistant to returning to work, I am resistant to accepting a new role (I want the job, don't get me wrong - just nerves starting to hit), I am resistant to the idea of giving up some of the indulgences I've come to enjoy over the holidays (my pyjamas and I have never been so close). The Resistance is strong in me.

This morning as I wrote out my list in increased detail I realised I'm going to loose this battle and miss my deadline if I don't do something about it. So, it is now official - I am fighting The Resistance.

It started simply enough - I sat down and committed two nights a week to writing blog entries. I even have the topics picked out a week in advance with a vague outline of what I could talk about (my touch is synced and will remind's so supportive). Now, I'm sure you'll realise how big a step that was for me - I _planned_ something. Guess what? Half an hour ago my touch buzzed me and I told the cat and hubby I had to go play blogger for a little while, plugged in my playlist and found a song that fired me tonight (it turned out to be Cake's "Going the Distance" tonight) and got on with the job.

I've broken my list down into smaller bites and with shorter deadlines - tonight it's the unit outlines and assessment planner dates (at the very least).

I am determined that I will win this fight. I started 2009 the way I intended on finishing it - ahead of the mad rush of an impending deadline, enjoying the creativity of those around me and the opportunities offered to me and this Resistance cannot be permitted to stop those plans.

So, what do you do to fight your Resistance?

1 comment:

Bob Bartley said...

It's good to know I am not alone in this way of working. I wonder how many others work like this.

As an adult I have learnt to accept that this is who I am and how I work best.

My problem is not getting too bored with what I am doing and getting distracted by the next "big thing" I want to play with (ie

So how do I fight the resistance? I don't think I do. I know it will get done and if I get stressed about it I know I won't do it as best I can.

Good luck in the new role!!

Sorry about the deleted post, I forgot to edit!