My favorite time of the year, the holidays, have come to a close. The holiday period for me symbolizes spending time with family and friends, cooking and eating together, laughing and creating memories. It is a time that I cherish and look forward to. Just prior to the holiday break, however, I realized that to this list of fun activities I had no choice but to add work-related tasks such as reading articles, continue the writing of a manuscript, design experiments, analyze data, further establish the specifics of my research project(s) and keep up with my writing for this blog. I thus left the lab the last day with a sentiment of happiness in view of the upcoming holiday “break”, but it was slightly encumbered by the long list of tasks I armed myself with. As any grad student most likely did at one point or another, I came to ask myself whether the holiday break represents a break from work, or a break from the lab to do more work (e.g. reviewing the literature).
As it would happen every year since I can remember, I have put off doing what I meant to do during the holidays, one day at a time. The manuscript could wait another day, the articles could be read the following week and the blog post could wait just a little longer. My worst imperfection, I hate to admit, is that I tend to procrastinate on certain things. That being said, I ended up doing barely anything on my list. Which simply makes me upset with myself as I ask myself, as I’m sure all us procrastinators do: “Why did I do it? Why did I procrastinate?” I know that I will be annoyed and upset with myself in the long run and that it will not help me in any way to do so, but it seems that I can’t help it. It’s almost like the short-term relief of whatever responsibility I am avoiding compensates for the nagging feeling that I shouldn’t be having so much carefree fun at that particular point in time. As everything else that I meant to do, the post I meant to write before the end of December was never written. Actually, it was written the last day of the month, but the loss of an unsaved draft and an upcoming dinner party made its publishing impossible. I simply took this technological glitch as a lesson that that is what happens to people who procrastinate.
At the outset, my being late generated another topic that I could write about, notably procrastination. Evidently my number one resolution this year is to stop procrastinating! I think I will follow fellow blogger Kristina’s tips and resume my once very addictive list-making activities. After all, procrastinating is a double-edged sword. Time is doubly wasted when one procrastinate, at least for me. Once because I waste time feeling bad and annoyed with myself that I did not do what I was supposed to do, and once more because I have to complete the task anyway, just at a later time! I hope that this year I will find enough motivation and strength to surpass this horrible habit.
Procrastination is still the thief of time. – Martin Luther King Jr.
I leave you with one useful thing I did during the holidays: take photographs.