The last-minute mentality. Doing everything at the latest opportunity.
A group of highly trained or exceptional (possibly superhuman) individuals aside, I think the majority of people think this way to some extent. You might experience it in one area, not in another, but good examples would be only starting to study the day before an exam, exercising only at the end of the day, or making work dead lines only right before hand, fueled by espressos and adrenalin.
I for one tend to be sloppy with e-mail sending and practical matters, especially if it has piled up. Plus, sometimes I get really resilient and writers blocky about writing, and only crack out an article two minutes before I want it to go on-line. What can I say? I’m
a complicated creature like everyone else.
I was having a conversation about this with a student of mine about the paper she was working on, and the whole last minute thing. Without really thinking about it, I just mused”
“Wouldn’t it be great if we changed our attitude from ‘doing it the moment that we have to’ to ‘the moment that we can’?”
The student agreed, because let’s be serious that was one totally brilliant unintentional statement and also best not to piss off the person giving you the grade, now is it. After our conversation, what I said stuck with me, and I entertained the idea for a little.
What if we just started to do things at our earliest opportunities? Like the moment you walk out of your class and you have a few hours to kill until your date or social activity, you just do a few hours of studying? Or when you come home, you want to work out and have the whole night ahead of you; why not put on that running gear right away and do a 5k? Or when you know you have a deadline in a couple of weeks and you have a few free hours, why not spend one of them working?
We should change our attitudes to ‘when we can’ instead of ‘when we have to’. What a nice perspective shift this would be, wouldn’t it? I mean, 90% of cases in which we say we don’t have the time, it’s because we have been wasting the time we had before that. It would give us so much more time to relax, we would feel accomplished and calm, and I seriously believe the quote “I don’t have the time” would not be used as much anymore.
I’m going to experiment with this attitude in 2013. You too?