Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I'll Stop Procrastinating... Tomorrow.

Yesterday I enjoyed several hours of "free time" where I didn't have any client calls, appointments or deadlines. I had work to do, mind you, it's just that none of it was due yesterday.

So what did I do? I wrote a long blog post. I did a bunch of annoying administrative things. I went to the gym for a full hour. I took a shower. I got lunch at a nearby restaurant (a very rare thing indeed, as usually I just snack, per my post last week). It was a nice day.

But today—and likely the rest of the week—I'm screwed. On top of the work I knew I'd have to get to today, five other client-related projects hit this morning. And now I'm cursing myself for not being more productive yesterday.

I always do this. And the reality is that I know I'll never stop. I am very, very good at justifying lighter days even though I know doing so will lead to a stressful and packed remainder of the week.

What I've learned about myself is that I work best under pressure. And since I don't have a boss per se, that pressure needs to come from me. I know that if I actually turned in crappy work or made a ton of mistakes when trying to hit a tight deadline, I wouldn't put myself in this position. But that's not the case—I am more creative, more focused, and more on my A-game when I have a ton of stuff hanging over my head.

I'm in!But recently I figured out that I do enjoy having my nights off. By that I mean that for at least two and a half years after Des was born, I would work for several more hours once he was in bed after I'd already put in a full day. It sucked. I like to wind down each night with a TV show or a book, and I'd made that impossible for myself. So lately I've managed to find this seemingly perfect balance: I'll let things pile up until I really HAVE to get going on them... but never so much that it trickles into my sacred 8 - 11 p.m. Me Time zone.

There are days I wish that I could just find the motivation to do my work as it comes in and keep things even-keeled throughout the week. And who knows, maybe one day I'll prefer a more well-paced schedule. But for now this "intentionally stressing myself out" strategy seems to be working.

And with that, I better get busy...

- e

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