I am what some would call lax towards deadlines. There’s just something about a deadline that makes me leave it so I’m panicking in the week before, rushing around as if I haven’t had months to do. The issue, I suspect, is my waning attention span. I am unfocused and prone to distraction. It’s gotten to the point where I’m sure that I waste time trying to do things on time. I can sit and stare at a blank screen for hours, months in advance, willing the words to come. Quite often, the mental plan is for me to sit in one place for a day and write or do the bulk of the task. It’s weird that the time period can be quite lengthy but my actual working hours are low. I’ve improved in recent times. What I do is start the task and do it so that it is at least half complete. I then do small bits here and there. That works with minor projects, but major ones? Not really. I’m struggling right now to just put down a simple methods and results section – arguably the easiest part of the paper. My word count is a paltry 1500 words and the full 6000-8000 draft is due in a month. I know that week before that day will be rough.
People always chide me for leaving things to the last minute despite me telling them that I don’t. And I suspect most people don’t. It just happens that those last few moments are where I’m most focused. Obviously I wish it wasn’t that way. It’s crazy and not good if you have anxiety. Things like word block usually crop up just to make you feel like shit. It is just messy. However, I like to think that the panic drives me to do well. That I’m so busy kicking my ass for running out of time that my brain opens up and pours out wisdom and excellence along with the blood and sweat.
In my mind, I’m that marathon runner who starts off slow and makes a late surge at the end.