I had a perfect opportunity today to focus on one important thing that has a deadline of today. With no meetings at all on my calendar, I could focus on getting together a draft of a presentation that I was asked to draft by today. No problem, I thought. There is nothing else on my calendar to stop me, so all should be well.
It’s now about 5:00 p.m. and I have yet to start putting the slides and screen shots together that need to fill out the outline I drafted last week. I had to package up what I need, bring it home, and I will work on it into the night as long as it takes to get it done and emailed to the person expecting it.
There is no doubt I can do it tonight, but the issue is that I shouldn’t have to give my evening to it. I should have done a much better job managing my time, putting other little things like emails, messages, and conversations aside in favor of crossing off the main thing I needed to do. But I didn’t, so now I’ll pay the consequences.
I’ve done this sort of thing a million times in my life, so I know how it’s going to turn out – just fine. But you’d think I would learn after, oh, half a million times to avoid putting myself in this situation. Not so. Either I really don’t mind it so much (because I love the work I do, which is true), or I just don’t learn very well from my mistakes (which I don’t think is very true or this blog wouldn’t exist).
If you know your capabilities and limits well, you can play the procrastination game and win most of the time. That isn’t the best course of action, though. It’s better to manage your time wisely, get things done with plenty of time to spare, and give yourself time to rest instead of time to stress.
Leap year lesson #204 is It’s nice when you can do well in a crunch, but it’s better when you don’t have to.