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Deadlines and procrastination

March 10 2014 , Written by Wing-Fai Thi

I recently changed my email signature with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers, Lucius Annaeus Seneca. The quote says “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”. Having a motto is great until the day you are challenged to apply it yourself.

I live in Grenoble, a town that is surrounded by mountains and ski resorts. This is the last winter I will be in Grenoble. Having waited three years to overcome some fear, I decided to join a group of friends going to ski. They went enjoying the beautiful scenery of some difficult slopes while I took some private lessons. I could have never imagined that I would enjoy every minutes of that day. How this has to do with deadlines and procrastination? When I am in a routine life, I tend to postpone personal projects or hobbies that I wish to try. How many Parisians have been to the Louvre museum recently? Likewise, at work, we tend to start working on project proposals only when the deadline is approaching. Does it mean that one should define personal deadlines to have things done at work and in our life in general? Off-course this will depend on individual personalities but having deadlines to achieve some goals should suit many of us. I made a list of things to do before I leave Grenoble (my personal deadline being the end of my contract) and I think that I have never done so much these last few months than during the 3 previous years.

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