I was talking to a very productive colleague recently. I mentioned how stressful I find writing papers with a firm deadline; say a paper for a conference that I have precommitted to. I just can’t take the stress of hitting that deadline.

The colleague agreed that it was a bad idea to sign up for such things, and said that he won’t do that. I said is it because it you don’t want to feel the stress?

No, he replied. I feel that stress anyway. I put it on myself.

I think that’s why I am less productive, since sometimes I need the external stress to produce—even though I know what I need to do, I need someone to force me to do it.

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3 responses to “Stress

  1. This is exactly the issue I am struggling with for all of my hitherto academic and professional life: LAST MINUTE WORKING – sometimes even LAST SECOND WORKING!
    Sometimes I wonder if I am always procrastinating ’cause I still haven’t found the job / field of interest that I am really interested and therefore motivated in.
    What do you think? Is the fact, that one is only productive when time is running away, a question of personality or is it a question of doing the wrong things?!
    Regards, silke

  2. silke,

    I am more and more convinced that it is personality, rather than doing the wrong this. Why? Because it shows up in many areas in my life. For example, I like what I do professionally, but I still need that last minute rush to get it done.


  3. V, if you were right, there wouldn’t be hope!
    I still try to believe, that – one day – I will be able to be ready in time and say good bye to last minute working and procrastination… 😦
    Or do you think we are able to change our personality as well?!

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