Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Working Ahead

I'm desperately trying to get into the habit of working ahead.

The way I look at it, I pretty much have two choices: do a given task at the last minute and stress myself out, or do the same task ahead of time and be more relaxed.

The latter is easier said than done for a few reasons:

  1. If you're currently doing things at the last minute, you don't have any extra time to get those tasks done and get ahead on the upcoming tasks.
  2. If you're working ahead, it's easy to let things (like a lack of motivation or a preference for procrastination) take precedence by telling yourself, "Oh, I'll just do this tomorrow." You really do have tomorrow, but as soon as you save something for the next day, it gets piled on top of the things that were supposed to be done on the next day.
Despite these challenges, I've been trying to work ahead. Some people thrive on last-minuteness; they are more creative, more productive, and more efficient if they work up against a deadline. I just don't happen to be one of those people. I get too stressed out.

So far, I'm doing a decent job of working ahead. I have a lot of tasks for work that remain consistent from week to week, so it's easy to assign each thing to a particular day, well in advance. For example, I create weekly newsletters to send home on Fridays (I teach 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade at a public Montessori school), so I start working on them Wednesday mornings.

It was especially hard last week when I was tired, preoccupied with car-buying, and generally unmotivated. However, I try not to be too hard on myself when I'm not able to finish everything ahead of time. It's a work in progress for sure.

Share |

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails