The Great Catch Up & Why Last Minute is so Attractive

So, my blog has been very quiet since I started it!

But don’t worry, I have a good excuse. Life.

Sound familiar?

To catch up, I am now now into week 8 of of the first module of my MA in Online and Distance Education and am LOVING it but of course if all adds to that aforementioned excuse, life.

The blog laid idle as in January, after post-Christmas madness I then had to travel to Vegas (oh no, how awful 😉 ) for my company meeting, squeeze in a bit of a break and then home. Of course, as per the law of nature, I got a hideous chest infection on the way back so that took out some weeks. Plus work got extremely busy. And the MA officially started. Hang on, life realised that was the perfect time for the central heating to go crazy, for me to be messed about by various companies and be without heating and hot water for almost six weeks whilst Britain got hit by some of the worst winter weather for decades. Then my best friend and her new born had to visit (I mean I couldn’t pass up that) and Grandad came to stay and….and….and

Come the 17th March I was thinking I need to seriously get down to assignment #1, well it was due on 19th March! And yes I made the deadline, the timestamp for the assignment being uploaded – 1.13am 19th March 🙂 Well that’s life isn’t it?

Except in an alternative universe there is a Rebecca who didn’t have to travel in January, or entertain guests. She had fully working central heating and a very balanced, if not light, work life. She had ample time at her disposal and I can guarantee she too uploaded her assignment at 1/13am 19th March because I know Rebecca.

Caught perfectly by 

I am one of the many leave it until the last minute people. I am one of the moan about the deadline whilst simultaneously feeding off the adrenal rush it’s imminent approach brings. I am one of the ‘I work best under pressure/I work best when lots is happening/I thrive on the thrill of the deadline’. And, I live in fear of that approach catching up with me and biting me on the behind.

I am not alone and there is even some evidence procrastination can be beneficial.  Adam Grant (Professor of management and Psychology, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania) makes a good case for procrastination being a force for creative good in his New York Times article ‘Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate‘ ( New York Times, Jan 16 2016)

And, I love psychologist Anna Abramowski’s quote:

“actively procrastinate display a certain level of self-reliance, autonomy and self-confidence because they are aware of the risk of subjecting themselves to last-minute pressures and still consciously decide to. That can be a good thing, because it stimulates creativity and enables them to engage in multiple tasks at the same time.” (The Guardian, “Why Do You Leave Things Until The Last Minute?”, Jun 8 2016)

But wouldn’t life be sweet if I was more organised and timely. If I could kick back my heels well in advance of the deadline, know I have the margin of time to add extra insights, correct any wrongs? Should I be heeding the warnings of studies that show the ‘last minuters’ risk lowering their grades (“Students who leave it to the last minute sacrifice better grades”)

Actually, during my recent company meeting we had some fantastic days of training on program management efficiencies, beating procrastination and managing stress. I am actively (trying) to put these in action but it’s hard not to think that a degree of my procrastination has become so ingrained, so addictive even, that I may be fighting a losing battle. However, even if I just make small indents I am convinced it will make life a little more bearable. That said, I am still handing in assignments at 1am later this year I can always fall back on the old excuse ‘life’ and admonish myself of any guilt for being a procrastination lover!

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