Don’t leave until tomorrow what you can do today
My former Math teacher, Dr. Andrew, was a stickler for do-it-NOWs so much so you’d think he was an advocate for the anti-procrastination society. He’d always say of our work “When you have the time, do it. Not sure about something? Now’s the right time to ask. Need to brush up on a chapter? Do it NOW. Not the day/week/month before your exam. Not 3 hours before you need to hand it in. You never know what may happen tomorrow. The power supply can get cut. An unforeseen circumstance may crop up. You may not have the time. So do it now.”
As a 16 year old, I’d think his spiel was one, very obvious. And two, not applicable to me. I mean, I finished my homework, revised, made good grades. I’m not a lazy person (although there is a tendency for me to laze some days). So, what good was his advice at all? Fast forward to the present moment and anti-procrastination is suddenly valuable not just to me as a student/researcher/teacher but also as a person. Never mind that something is due 3 weeks from now, a month from now, 3 semesters from today … sit at it and finish it when there’s time. Also because I love lists, I tend to have a list of things-to-do with me almost always to keep me in check and to make sure I’m progressing instead of slacking. I don’t stick to it religiously but since it’s always there to remind me, sooner or later, I get at it – sometimes rigorously, other times, dragging my feet. The point of lists is to de-clutter my brain from all the tasks that’s heaping there and see it in an orderly fashion. A friend suggested a priority matrix (fancy shmancy jargon tech people use to call a table of priorities based on importance) in which you’ll have the following — tasks which are urgent and important, tasks which are urgent but not important, tasks which are not urgent but important and tasks which are not urgent and not important. If you work better with matrices, that would be a great way to get about your otherwise looming mountain of tasks/chores/assignments/whatever. The point is, list or matrix , do whatever you need to do TODAY even if it means waking up an hour earlier, going to bed later than usual, sacrificing internet time. It will save you from a lot of stress and definitely keep you from wanting to commit emotional suicide.
Be organised and focused (: