Penn Editorial 4.24.12
Three weeks: time management chicken
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17:04
Time is a funny thing, and time is a liar. When you start out, four years is an eternity, and when you’re nearly finished, it’s like all those months vanished up somebody’s sleeves (even though somehow you know you were so young and stupid at the start and you know SO MUCH MORE now).
Scale is everything with time. Months, maybe years, have gone by too quickly for you to track, but the next three weeks are another story.
The next three weeks are somehow going to take forever, because they’re all that’s between us and summer - beaches! Late nights and late mornings! Iced coffee! Road trips! - and sprint past, because there is more to do between now and May the eleventh than is reasonable, or necessary or possible.
But remember, nothing is impossible (which is a lie, but a useful one). And even when we feel like we’re falling face-first toward the end of the semester like over a waterfall with the sharp rocks of finals and papers at the bottom, somehow, magically, we’ll all get everything done that has to be finished.
We’re not suggesting that we have carte blanche to procrastinate, allowed to sleep late, skip class and play video games, and things will still get done as they need to.
Responsibility still needs to be taken. List-making and schedules might be advisable. Time management does take work.
But it has been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. With days stretching out long before us, with only one five-page paper and five days to do it in, even though we could do it the first day, or split it across a few, the sheer amount of empty hours are intoxicating.
And suddenly it’s the fifth day, the paper has not even been outlined, and it gets pounded out in about five hours.
This is not the healthiest or most effective way of working. In terms of sheer stress levels, spreading the paper across several days would be best.
But playing chicken with due dates certainly does have a way of getting you moving.