Friday, June 12, 2009

Blog Entry 5: Procrastination


I have been procrastinating and it is not something I usually do (in grad school, I started papers weeks before they were due, maybe even doing the library research a month in advance. I had my dissertation finalized a month before my defense date and was the only student up to that time who successfully defended with no revisions, to either the content or the writing!). I hate that feeling I get when I have put something off to the last minute, the anxiety, the poor sleep, so I do whatever I can to avoid it. However, I have been procrastinating with this blog, with writing the entry on “accuracy in language.” This is partly because it is hard to come up with good examples of accuracy (though I recently heard a good one: a member of Congress, when asked about the pending tobacco legislation, said tobacco “was a substance that kills with lethality.” Huh? Is there any other way to kill? Can you kill without being lethal?)

I realized that I have been procrastinating because I set myself up to work on this particular blog entry in a way that I do not usually work, that is, I know my best work style and I violated it. My best work style is to start work on a project early, even if it is only in small increments of time. When I write or develop a project, I need to take time to develop my ideas and to let inspiration hit. For example, I write a garden blog. I have a folder with a list of many different topic ideas, some with just the main theme written out, others with an outline, others in near complete or complete form. This allows me time to think out my ideas and the organization of my writing. I did this in grad school too, because I had multiple projects, as you probably do too.

So, for the accuracy in language blog entry, I kept stumbling over the difficulty of coming up with good examples. I did not chip away at it slowly, and let it build up to be a problem, if only in my own mind. I have made a plan: today, I am going to outline what I want to say about this topic. Tomorrow I will do some research using the APA manual, Strunk and White and online sources. Early next week I will jot out my ideas, then GID (get it done!)

This style of working is best for me. You need to determine how you do your best writing, but I would think that working it out, bit by bit, in advance and giving yourself sufficient time to mull over your ideas is a good way to go. Some students say they thrive on the rush of getting work done at the last minute, but I would suspect, in almost every case, they could have performed at a higher level if they gave themselves more time. I know that sometimes time is scarce and have sympathy for that, but a short work session within the context of a plan should work with most schedules.

Keep Writing!


  1. I think you have a good thing going here. If it's meant to be, it'll be. As per my style, I'll be reading and capitalizing off of all those degrees of yours!

  2. I am...but for non-monetary benefits!