Friday, May 25, 2007

A healthy relationship with deadlines?

I promised T that I would make new cushions for our sofa, before her parents come to visit. They'll be here tomorrow afternoon. Two out of five are finished.

Last night, after a long day, instead of working on the pillows (my original plan), we took a walk up to Highland Park, came back home, then went to a celebration at our next door neighbor's, complete with amazing chocolate cake from Premier Pastry. Now, all those things were totally worth it, even though I will probably have a late night tonight, after DD's concert, finishing the pillows.

But it got me thinking...the NEXT day after I turned in my last project for the semester, I started this blog, which as you'll notice, is actually ALL about meeting a deadline. Apparently I can't get enough deadlines in my life. On top of that, whenever I have a deadline to meet--a gift, a grant proposal, a paper--I am invariably working on it up to the last minute.

Generally this works well for me. I do good work under pressure. And it's not like I don't start in advance...I do, though not nearly as soon as people with a lower tolerance for anxiety might. But it also means that I don't always finish things by the deadline, or finish them to the level of excellence that I would like.

I think this mild procrastination is a way of rebelling against schedules, since so much of my life is dominated by them. On the other end of the continuum, one summer I had a lot of unscheduled time, and came to realize that there IS such a thing as too little structure.

So, the trick is having enough structure, but not so much that I rebel against it, procrastinate and thereby make myself nuts as I work against deadlines!

I'm not making any promises about improvement in this area, but I'll keep you posted as to how it goes!

Meanwhile, some pictures from Highland (downloaded from here) are interspersed as a reminder that some things are worth abandoning the schedule.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

hi Julie,
Great to see you are blogging so much good stuff and I'm tickled to be an inspiration. I'm amazed at the challenges you've set for yourself and enjoying reading about 'em.
Have fun!
Rachael