Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Riding The Wave

I am not a procrastinator. I know that angers all of you who are...and eventually you will get around to giving me the nasty look you considered throwing my way. When you remember. And have the time.

I admit, I dabbled in procrastination. There was some experimentation. It was more of a phase I went through in college. It lasted less than a month.

While frantically pounding out a paper in the single free hour between my last class of the day and my 8 hour shift at KMart, I swore to NEVER do this again. And, amazingly, I meant it. I was too busy to procrastinate. Also, I couldn't handle the stress.

Ever since that fateful day, I have employed a method I have come to think of as The Wave*. The first phase of The Wave involves total frantic immersion into a project/paper/task. Often, I can get 50%-75% of a project/paper/task completed in this first phase and in record time. After phase one, I take a step back and pat myself heartily on the back, aglow in productivity. Then I move on to phase two.

Phase two ranges, depending on the scope of the project/paper/task and other associated deadlines, from occasionally prodding the keyboard to completely ignoring the thing. In my defense, phase two usually involves thinking about how I am going to organize my next steps, wording or approaches I plan to use, and oftentimes making a list of things I'm going to do, eh, eventually.

The final phase of The Wave is the last push to complete the project. Usually phase three is completed right before the project deadline smashes into the metaphorical shore.

And why, you ask (or don't, whichever, because I'm answering anyway), am I bothering to share this strategy with you, dear Internet? Because I'm struggling to push myself into that third phase right now. I have two big projects due just a few days apart. And lo, phase one was glorious to behold. Then, within sight of the shore on both projects, the first crest of productivity diminished. Much futile keyboard jabbing later, and the motivation carried to me in the third phase has yet to arrive.

Perhaps, I thought, writing about this may help. And, if not, perhaps others will share their own motivational slumps with me. So, feel free to push my face below the ripples of your own momentum, you know, when you get around to it.

*No, The Wave is not procrastination in a less stereotypical format. Shame on you for suggesting such a thing. Phase two is simply the inevitable dip in, the, err, momentum, and its, um, organic nature. It's physics, dammit!

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