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Quote of the Day
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Embrace the Dread
I have spent the day drafting cover letters and preparing a Powerpoint presentation for a mock job talk I have to do next week. As I worked today I thought about how I should have worked on these things earlier in the week, and I wondered why I hadn't. Then I realized something that I've known about myself for a long time: I often dread the thought of doing something, but then actually enjoy doing it.
For example, I have known about this presentation for about a month. I've planned it out in my head -- I've known for awhile how I wanted it to look, the case I wanted to use, how I wanted to organize it. But I just couldn't sit down to create the Powerpoint because the thought of it was unbearably dull. I dreaded having to sit down and do it, because in my mind it was already done. That's how I am about so many things: I am dreading writing up these next two case studies, dreading going overseas, dreading filling out more job applications, etc. In my mind, I already have sketchy plans for all of these things, and so now I have no desire to do them. I suppose it's just another form of procrastination (and God knows I'm good at that).
Anyway, the Powerpoint is now looking pretty good, and I'm actually having fun assembling it. And I started writing a bit for my second case study and it was rather enjoyable, even though it is coming out much differently than I thought it would. I've been dreading the thought of reading the German documents I found, but as I started to read them I found them extraordinarily entertaining (really -- I'm not being facetious). Now I just have to realize that whenever I'm dreading doing something I just need to do it and get over the dread immediately. This could work in other areas of my life as well. For example, I always dread going to see my brother-in-law but, some of the time, I actually find myself enjoying his company (gasp!). I usually dread going running, but most of the time I have fun out on the trail (especially now that the nano is my running partner!). I dread changing ST's diaper, but... wait. No. That dread is not misplaced. I guess there are limits to my "feel the dread and embrace it" theory.
Now, back to another task I've been dreading for a few days. Then my slate will be clear for a productive day tomorrow.
UPDATE (11:52pm): two dreaded tasks completed instead of just one (and both in a foreign language, I might add!). I love checking things off of my ever-present to-do list. Tomorrow: finish the presentation. Heck, if I am really ambitious I can finish three more job applications due at the end of the month.