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Getting things done, part 5: starting early

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In the first four entries in this series, I shared some of the obstacles I've seen people commonly run into when it comes to being productive and meeting deadlines--many of which I struggled with in the past myself--along with some strategies I've found helpful for overcoming those obstacles. In today's post, I am going to share something that I've never struggled with myself but have seen other people struggle with a great deal...and that is not leaving enough time to get things done. Allow me to explain. A while ago, I saw this image going around on social media: I got a nice laugh out of this because I am such a 'B' person. I literally do think, "I'm already running out of gas" when my gas gauge gets below 3/4 full, and am pretty much anxious about it constantly after that. Absurd, I know - but I can't help it! I've also known many A-type people in my life, and I constantly find myself simultaneously horrified and anxious driving with them. :P Interestingly, my sense is that this sort of difference in attitude can very much carry over into one's work-life. I always start projects super early because I want to make sure I will get them done with plenty of time to spare. For example, if I get a revise-and-resubmit and the journal gives me a 4 month deadline (or whatever) to get it in, I'll start now--like, the week I get the R&R. In contrast, I've seen other people who have trouble meeting deadlines seem to run into trouble because they adopt a 'B-type' approach. They think to themselves, "Hmm...well, it's not due for 4 months, so if I just leave myself one month to get it done, that will give me plenty of time." Alas, I've seen how this can go: they give themselves a month to get it done, thinking that will be plenty of time--but then sh-t happens, a bunch of stuff comes up they didn't expect, and they end up having to ask for an extension (or. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

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