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?


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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