Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Because I Can't Even Screw-Up Correctly

Do you ever push your luck a little too much? If you haven’t realized by now, I get over-involved, overcommitted, and over-scheduled on a regular basis. I think my DNA must have been under serious pressure when I was constructed, because I am not sure I could function any other way. This means I am constantly juggling priorities and deadlines. I work best under pressure and I am a procrastinator by nature. Please note that I would recommend either being a procrastinator or an overly busy person. The two just don’t mesh well together. Believe me.

I just don’t ever learn my lesson. So, perhaps we could add stubborn on that list as well.

Inevitably there are times when panic sets in and I think … there is NO WAY I can meet such-and-such deadline or get such-and-such done on time. Occasionally I have those moments where I realize I’m moments away from falling flat on my face, becoming a public spectacle, or dropping one of the many balls I’ve been juggling too long. In that moment of panic, I think I learned my lesson. I pushed it too far this time.

A couple of weeks ago I was having that moment with my graduate classes. I had reached the breaking point. School hadn’t been able to be a priority and I pushed a semesters worth of projects into 4 days, four workdays nonetheless. My standards quickly fell as I uttered words like, “I don’t care, as long as I pass the class” and “I honestly did it this time, I cannot pull this off.”

I learned my lesson. Finally I learned my lesson.

Today I received an email letting me know that our grades were posted. With a watermelon lodged in my throat, I opened them:



While I am ecstatic, this totally negates the lesson I needed to learn now, doesn’t it?

Next on the list, get ready for Christmas ...

20 comments:

Rachel Cotterill said...

From one overcommitted procrastinator to another - procrastinating on project A is achieving something on project B. As long as everything gets done by its own deadline, the procrastination just helps you get more 'other' stuff done at the same time. Call it productive procrastination... (which, I just looked, gets 7,000 hits on Google)

Rachel Cotterill said...

And congrats on your results. I meant to put that too but I hit 'submit' too soon! :)

Petunia said...

Nicely done! I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

Sarah said...

I could have written your post!! I like to call it multitasking - sounds so much more positive!

Congrats on those grades!

Motherhood for the Weak said...

I do the same thing and it usually all works out in the end. That or I start ruthlessly cutting expectations until there are no tasks left thereby making my to-do list complete by default. Congrats on the A.

M

Sasha said...

Congrats!

And Merry Christmas!

Jeanne said...

A big woo-hoo! on your grades.

In a class I took at church once, I learned that procrastination can be a good thing. For example, without it, if you woke up in the middle of the night and realized the grass needed to be cut, you'd have to get up and do it. It allows us to prioritize things.

Judging from your grades, it works for you!

Ann's Rants said...

Hi Lyndsay,

That's the thing about school--especially as adults. Once you learn your way to do it, its almost impossible to do it any other way. I share you curse of a certain strain of perfectionism, and it actually is a curse. Wow, okay Ann Gloom and doom. Let's try Merry Christmas!

Leslie Jackson said...

I am so right there with you! I had 4 Master's classes last semester (only doing 3 in the Spring!) and one teacher told us that as long as the work was in by Dec 5th, it was fine. We didn't have to turn anything in all semester! I did do some of the work for the class. Then the other 3 classes needed to be finished. Dec. 3rd, the teacher emailed that we could have until Dec. 10th! FANTASTIC! I was so excited when we got the extension that I didn't touch the 4 2-page papers, 1 8-page paper, powerpoint, and 3-page class reflection until Dec. 8th!

Procrastinator is my middle name--I'm thinking of legally changing it!

I didn't learn my lesson either as this was my FIRST semester in grad school and I ended up with a 4.0.

We can stress out and have panic attacks together in May--when everything comes due again!!

I'm glad to know I'm really not in this boat alone! There really are others like me!

Anonymous said...

Steph here..... Congrats on the grades! I too am a huge procrastinator - like the worst ever and in my job it just is not the best thing to be. I have gotten better but I never, ever learn my lesson and always put things off that I do not want to do or deal with. When you are what we are "by nature" it is just too hard to overcome no matter what.

Have a very Merry Christmas my dear!

Call Me Cate said...

Aww, you fail at failing. Congratulations!

Lyndsay said...

Rachael - Productive procrastination. I love it! Since I apparently won't be changing this tactic, perhaps changing the way I look at it will help!

Petunia - Thanks! Merry Christmas to you as well!

Sarah - Yes, thanks. I am a multi-tasking expert!

Motherhood - I'm guilty of reducing expectations too. It's that such a glamorous approach???

Sasha - Thanks! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Jeanne - What's that saying ... too much of a good thing ... LOL!

Ann - Yes, I think you are right. Some people just figure it out and it works. I guess I should be happy to be on "this" side of the fence!

Leslie - OMG! Are you in my head? That is exactly something I would have (and have) done!

Steph - I think it's an affliction :) Merry Christmas to you too! Email me sometime!

Cate - You CRACK me up. I do fail at failing. How pathetic am I?

The Tildy Spot said...

I completely understand. These grades have only given you permission to push your luck at least one more time. Whatever works! Congrats and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

C. Beth said...

HA and CONGRATS!

AngieS said...

I TOLD you that you are superwoman.

See?! No body EVER listens to me...hmmmph....

Seriously, congrats!

Jennifer said...

awesome!!

littlesack said...

Just found your blog (from randy and AngieS). I can really relate to your post today. I'm in grad school too and I've been doing the same thing as you to myself since college. I have too much to do and think...this semester i will actually die...my workload will actually kill me. and it never does and I get through it and things usually turn out ok. (I havent gotten my grades back for this semester so I don't want to jinx it). But- I 100% know what you mean.
I have a friend who compares it to a Rocky movie (I forget which one). Where--Rocky signs up to fight this guy he knows he shouldn't fight and then he gets his ass kicked---like...you know you shouldnt have taken on this many classes/this much stuff, but you do it anyways...

Ok, that was a book I just wrote. But, I was excited b/c I REALLY know how you feel.

So--congrats on those grades! Thats awesome. Hope you take some time to enjoy the holidays

E. Sloane Cannon said...

good grief! All A's, way to go!! I completely agree with you by the way, why get rid of procastination when it so obviously works in your favor?!

Simplicity said...

Well, regardless of how you achieved it, congratulations on those fabulous grades! Wow!

Now, start preparing for Christmas...2009!! :)

MS said...

This is exactly what has happened to me throughout my life! It really makes it hard to stop procrastinating when everything always turn out great in the end...