Monday, May 4, 2009

in for the night

I'm in for the night. In my office, that is. I'm not going home until I finish this paper, so I'm prepared to spend the night on the comfy couch in my office.

I'm about 2 pages into my 10 page paper. I don't think I've procrastinated this much on a paper this big since college. I'm out of procrastination practice, I guess. I used to write 2 day papers or pull nearly all-nighters all the time in high school and college. I'm glad that I don't do this much anymore. This is my last paper of the semester, grant proposals aside. I just want to be done with it already so that I can finish doing all of the preparations for Ukezagapia.

I can think of a few reasons that I may be procrastinating more on this paper than others I've written in grad school. Let's explore them while I procrastinate writing my paper by writing about not writing my paper.
  1. The expectations and format are vague. The instructions were largely "Write a concise 10-page double-spaced paper about a method new-to-you that can be applied to your research."
  2. I'm outside of my comfort zone. I'm writing about a method with which I have little experience. This is my second time this semester writing a paper like this. The first one was even further outside of my comfort zone, but I planned better for that one and didn't procrastinate as much.
  3. We just finished learning about this method in class on Friday, so I was waiting to start my paper until after that class. Obviously, in hindsight, this was a bad idea.
  4. Compared to writing a grant proposal or finishing the 1000 things I need to do before I go to Ukenzagapia, this paper just is not that important. Time consuming? Yes. Critical to the success of my research? No.
I think this is one of those times when it's important to know what is "good enough." This paper just needs to be good enough for me to get an A in this class, which shouldn't be too difficult. I can't spend hours agonizing over small details or obscure references. I just need to do it so I can get on with everything else that is more important.

Here I go.


gigirose said...

I feel your pain. i just had that experience in 2 ways -- didn't really start a class project that I had to present today until Saturday (that's 2 days ago!).
But that was b/c I have been busy readingreadingreading for my written exams, one of which was due at 5pm on Fri. Could have started it earlier in the week, but kept readingreadingreading (there's always more, and it's easier than writing!) and didn't start it until Thursday. Thursday afternoon.
In hindsight, not the best idea. Not the best idea by a long shot. Good luck!

Alexandra said...

Good luck! I know you can do it. As I used to tell Beth in college "half-assed is better than no ass."