Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Take it back

I haven't read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet it's becoming quite the distraction precisely because I haven't read it. Instead, I'm reading blog posts and discussions of the book, not bothering to avoid spoilers. So now I know yes, Harry does die, but he comes back from the dead. I really need to go and borrow/buy the book and get it over with--I'd probably spend less time reading the book than I've spent reading about it so far. The thing is, I have this talk thing coming up in, oh, a week and a half, for which I still need to collect my data, and I keep thinking, even as I read, I should probably wait to read this until after my talk, or at least until after I've generated the data I need for my talk.

As if that strategy ever works for me (yes, Jorge Cham, I do live in your comic-verse)

Although occasionally I can use the carrot on a stick approach with myself for motivation, usually I just end up feeling resentful of the task keeping me from the desired reward and do a sucky job on it until I just give in, do the thing I really want to do, feel guilty and/or panic because of the "waste of time in face of impending deadline", and, finally motivated by panic, work really hard and finish less desirable task. Mostly, this strategy works, though I suspect I'll live a shorter life thanks to the resultant stress. This time, I'm not so sure. I have this sinking suspicion I may already be so far under the wire the best I can really hope for at this point is a vaguely acceptable first talk experience. And that only if, by some miracle everything works right the first time. Could the cosmos be so generous?

**update**

The janitors have informed me they are polishing the floors outside my lab, forcing me to remain here for at least the next hour. I'm either in for a long night of work, or some intense flicking.

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