Home > Choices > Trade offs in all things

Trade offs in all things

As noted earlier, I had my first meeting – ever – to discuss a project with a professor before I turn it in.  The good from the experience: she thinks I have a good project and we had a great conversation.  The bad: she made at least a half dozen suggestions for improvement “if [I] have time.”  Since I’ve scheduled the rest of my week already and I don’t have time, I’m not quite sure why I went in to talk with her.  Did I think she’d say it was perfect?  I think I went in because 1) I wanted an excuse to talk with her and 2) I started to get nervous holding onto the project but not turning it in yet.  I find it deeply unsettling to finish an assignment and still having it hanging around, unsubmitted, days later.  If I have more days to work, shouldn’t I keep working on it?  But taking that approach, why would one ever work ahead or try to get things done early?  It would just lead to a mad, unending, hamster wheel of work.

I need to avoid falling down the rabbit hole on this assignment, yet show that I didn’t completely waste her time or ignore her advice.  To strike this balance, my plan is to set aside two hours this weekend to make revisions – when time’s up, it gets turned in.  I use this rationed time approach frequently to manage my workload – projects get a certain amount of time, or a certain number of pages, or are limited in some other way that makes sense for that assignment.  I work within those boundaries, and when I reach them, I have to find a way to finish up.  It keeps my perfectionist tendencies in check, keeps my time commitments in line with my priorities, and ensures I have time for everything I need to get done.

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