Good habits, bad habits, and life craziness
Hi, I'm Thomas C., compulsive procrastinator.
I've noticed two things since I discovered this site:
1. When I post, I procrastinate a lot less, and get a lot more done.
2. I post sporadically or at least inconsistently, not every day.
One reason I don't post is that I don't procrastinate on some things, like getting going in the morning. I notice that some people put in their check-ins such self care as brush teeth, shower, dress, etc. I don't need to post about those tasks, because I do them. We have to get our daughter to school on time, so we have the morning routine down pat. Also, right after I get to campus, I handle meditation, brushing teeth & flossing, and anything else that can be handled in a bathroom. ;-)
So I have some really good habits. Unfortunately, they do not carry me through to starting academic work.
Probably the first bad habit is to check email. As soon as I'm done in the bathroom, I log in to my email account. The problem is that I really do have to check email. I keep in touch with students who have questions, I contact family, friends, the two departments I'm involved with (one now, one starting this fall), and so on. I need to do email.
But I do it from a computer lab where I can also access the Web, and THAT is where I really start procrastinating. :-(
I love to read newspaper and magazine sites. I always have. But this definitely has become a way to procrastinate. Perhaps it always was! It takes way too long. For instance, it was around 10:30 a.m. that I started this post. But I finished email probably around 9:45. What did I do? News websites!
Also, I'm a morning person, and this term I noticed that having a 10 a.m. class really made my teaching days crazy. Having time in the morning to get going really helps, but it's also exactly where I procrastinate. So I think I will always ask for afternoon classes, even if they're back-to-back, which I've had, and which does suck, but which gave me time in the morning.
Another reason I don't post to this site is that some days I know what I have to do, and I just do it. I'm so inconsistent, sometimes I don't even procrastinate! On those days--such as when I have a lot of papers to grade, and no deadlines on anything else--I just do it.
Finally, some periods of my life--whole months or even a year at a time--are really crazy, and my good habits can go out the window. This happened when my daughter was born, but that's not really news. Babies make life crazy for most people, at least for a few months. It also happened the last year of my dissertation, which went RIGHT up to the deadline--a deadline I met, but only by submitting a dissertation that had a couple of lame chapters.
I'm also in Debtors Anonymous (I've noticed that time and money problems can go together), but I really haven't worked the program seriously in the last three or four years. In other words, I keep up on billpaying pretty inconsistently--sometimes I'm ON IT, and sometimes, like now, I wait a week after a paycheck. Also, I haven't done ANY recordkeeping, which is absolutely fundamental to the DA program, in about three years.
So all of this leads me to two questions, which I'm throwing open to a forum in hopes that (a) it helps others, and (b) I get help on my own stuff:
1. How can I reduce life-craziness? Or to put it another way, how much of it is my own creation, and if so, why do I do it? Is it just the cumulative result of daily procrastination? Or is it that I try to do too much? Or does it just happen to everyone sometimes?
2. Good habits in the morning: how can I "get to work" instead of wasting upwards of two hours each morning? Sometimes it's only a half-hour, sometimes much more.
Any thoughts, anyone?