Your Speed Doesn’t Matter: Forward Is Forward
Last week I was watching a TED Talks video on procrastination. And the basic premise of this video was that mild procrastination creates the sweet spot for creative thinking to occur. It opens up the space that the most successful people inhabit. And I sat back and took a minute to digest this:
Usually, when set a task I get on with it straight away. Let’s use an essay as an example, seen as university exam season is upon us. If I’m set an essay then within the week I am set it, I will have a plan written up. Sometimes, I begin writing once that plan is in place- other times I take it a little slower. I give myself a few days to keep going back to the plan and making adjustments. When I begin essay writing I get a first draft, leave it a few days, and then return to it. And I repeat this process again, and again, until I am happy with the essay in front of me (or as happy as I am going to get). Those essays usually come out with a higher mark.
What else seems to yield a better result when I take my time? Well, I am a huge advocate for slow and steady weight loss, if any one wants to lose weight. I’ve seen weight loss from both the slow and steady side, and the slightly-too-fast side. Maybe you’re revising, and you cant grasp the concept of osmosis, whilst your friend is on to rocket science- perhaps you’re revising it every night and trying out different revision methods. You will get there. Maybe, like me, you’ve had/are having cognitive behavioural therapy, and feel as if you’re trying to walk through tar, you’re moving that slowly. Well, guess what? Forwards is still forwards my friend.
Sometimes, it can feel as if everyone else is running rings around you. You’re a tortoise, and they’re a sleek hare. By the time you’ve reached the finish line, they’ve done four laps of the same track. And perhaps that works for them. But perhaps it won’t work for you. Maybe if you moved that quickly, by the time the whistle blew for the next race, you’d be too knackered to even attempt it.
Ultimately, stick with the speed that works for you. I am not saying don’t hand in your essays because the deadline didn’t suit your working speed. But don’t stress if two days after it’s been set, your friend has a third draft, and you’re still on the brainstorming stage. At some point we all cross the finish line, and whatever speed you’re moving forwards is forwards.