Today leaves with me with four days to the deadline of finishing a project overdue for publication. The publishers have badgered me with the consistency of a woodpecker, constantly reminding me of the date slippage. The interesting thing from my perspective is this; I can easily complete the task ahead of me and cast my rampant mind on some other project, but I suffer from the dreaded disease that afflicts most creative minds; Procrastination.
If Planning and Execution were countries, I would be the King of Planning and the Minister in charge of Planning in Execution. I am a master in shelving things and pushing dates back to the end of eternity; if time allows me of course. Unfortunately, this trait has been identified as what separates those who achieve things and those who don’t. So I have decided to turn a new leaf, if not for the success, at least for the sake of my kids being proud of their Dad.
Currently, there are five different projects with no end dates in sight. The eclectic nature of the work means, one has to almost develop different personalities to deliver each task. Enter a close friend and aspiring Life coach, who on hearing my dilemma, gave me some tips on conquering my affliction. The easy guide laid out the most obvious tips which each and every one of us could adopt, with no fracture to our normal day to day activities. Unfortunately, she could not resist a few barbs in my direction;
“Castro(that's my nickname you see), this is not a big problem. Just look at this way, if you were a country, your name would be Nigeria! The good thing in your case is the fact that you are not surrounded by friends with the same trait, otherwise a collective name for your mob could be Africa!”
Of course, I had to swallow my pride and let it go. She had taken time out of her valuable schedule to help me for free, so I guess verbal diarrhoea was to be expected. Besides, she is also Nigerian, although she swears God played a cruel trick on her, as she was originally destined for the West Indies. My initial reaction to that was; “what is the bloody difference?!” In any case, I held my tongue and concentrated on her plan. Basically, it was all about delivering one’s project in phases/ stages and more importantly, understanding that completion must be the end point of inception. So, for instance, if you have a twenty chapter thesis to submit in two weeks, and you finish seventeen chapters in the first week, but fail to deliver the other three before the deadline, you have failed. Alternatively, if you have a plan for delivering two chapters a day and you stick to it, you will complete your task, with a few days to spare. Simple really….
But I know what you are thinking. If I know all these facts and I am also willing to admit I have this problem, why am I still lagging behind with this current task? Good questions guys….
I don’t know really, but I am coming up with a plan to answer that question. Oh, by the way, my close friends call me ‘Mr President,’ but you call me Umaru!