Before I came to college, I had a passing knowledge of deadlines at best. To me, deadlines were an ideal, a time when it would be nice to have something finished if you could. Of course, some deadlines have always been more important than others, but on a whole the idea of a time limit didn’t stick with me very well. Twenty-four hours a day seemed like all the time in the world. As it turns out, twenty-four is a pretty small number in the grand scheme of things, and those hours will run away from you faster than you thought possible. Most deadlines at school are enforced pretty heavily, so I had plenty of incentive to get down to business. There are a few things, however, for which I have to set my own deadlines, and if I don’t get very specific with how I’m going to spend my time, those are inevitably the deadlines that I throw out onto the side of the road to be picked up by thrifty folks or run over by eighteen-wheelers. Since that’s not particularly kind to the poor deadlines, and I almost always miss them sorely after I leave them behind, I’m putting forth some effort to rescue these three neglected deadlines at school:
1. Writing Projects. This encompasses the blog, but it also covers my book from November and my upcoming script in April. I need to write, and I need to stop sitting down to do it at the last second. Not only will it improve the quality of my posts, it will improve the quantity of my extracurricular writing, which is at about a zero right now. I need an hour or so every day, or maybe even an entire day each week devoted to getting all of the ideas in my head out onto paper. Maybe that will help me stop muttering plot ideas and character lines to myself and climbing random objects around campus to stimulate my imagination. Then again, maybe that’s just a permanent quirk.
2. Laundry. I’m always forgetting to fold my clean laundry and wash my dirty laundry at the proper times. This is not a big deal, but it does get frustrating having to dig through a hamper of clean clothes to find a pair of matching socks at 7:00 A.M. The main problem is probably that I expect it to take longer than it really will. In my mind, what is five minutes of low-intensity folding in real life becomes an hour and a half of difficult lifting, folding, sorting, moving, and bending the laws of physics with nothing but my mind and a fabric softener sheet. Or I might just tear holes in a fabric softener sheet while imagining that it’s the space-time continuum. I seem to remember that being very entertaining back in the day.
3. Sleep. This is the big one. As it turns out, time doesn’t stop when you go unconscious. You will feel it the next day if you stay up until 3:30 A.M. working on projects and such. I’ve found that getting enough sleep helps me to keep all of my other deadlines, pay more attention to what people are saying, stay focused on the task at hand, and not run into things as often. Also, it’s good for keeping those distracting blue flying rhombuses away. Those guys are annoying.
What’s something that you often forget to do, or that gets pushed out of your schedule a lot? And do you think of yourself as more of a scheduled person or a seat-of-the-pants type? Leave your answer in the comments below, and I’ll be here with a song of the week tomorrow. Sleep well!