5 Good Deadline-Meeting Habits 五個養成準時交稿的好習慣之二

Authors of academic papers have other things to do. In the general busyness of academia, the deadline for a paper to be handed in or published can get overlooked. The subsequent scramble to complete the paper on time can be painful. Painless deadline-meeting can be learned like any other habit. This series will describe some habits that not only make deadlines less threatening but can improve the quality of the papers themselves. Each of the habits will be presented on the TPS Fan page before being compiled.

Good Habit # 2 – Do the worst first

This habit is a good one to develop for any sort of task. It plays to a writer’s psychology (or anyone else’s psychology) through deferred gratification. It holds in reserve something to do that a person happily anticipates doing rather than dreads doing. Dread is not a motivator. It doesn’t spur movement. Thus, when a dreaded part of a task is still ahead, people put it off till… “later.” They drag out the enjoyable tasks, milking them more than being enriched by them. The impact is very much like the spinning of wheels: Momentum is slowed just when a final push is needed.

To use thisstrategy of worst-first, it is important that a writer-researcher know himself.He should acknowledge to himself his least favorite tasks. Example: If perusingbound, published material is more enjoyable than compiling data from loose-leafand online sources, do the tedious collection before the reading. Also, researchrequires meticulous note-taking and ordering of notes, or else it is wastedeffort; if you don’t like taking and ordering notes—do them now, carefully, without deferring them till… “later.”You know what you don’t like. Go ahead and get it out of the way.

Once again, this habit of ordering necessary tasksaccording to personal likes and dislikes can only be developed if awriter-researcher has discipline. When someone has proceeded to a point whereacademic writing is a regular part of his life, the assumption is that theperson can regulate his activity. He can do what he knows he needs to do, rather than wants to do.Another example: If second drafts are a problem for a writer, he should do itwithin a day or two of the first draft, rather than waiting till… “later.” Whenthe worst is behind, such procrastination is not a problem.
我再次強調,這項根據喜好排列工作優先順序的習慣,唯有當研究者能自律才培養得起來。如果學術寫作早已成為你生活中的一部分,你就必須懂得約束自己的行為,知道自己必須做甚麼,而不是想要做甚麼。再舉個例子。如果寫第二份草稿是你最討厭的部分,就應該在完成第一份草稿的一、兩天內寫完第二份草稿,千萬不要「等一下」。 只要先解決最討厭的部分,拖延的症頭就會不藥而癒了。


Posted at 2013-05-14 10:55:01

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