Despite it being a new year and a 'fresh start' with the usual bunch of resolutions, some things never change. One of those things is my tendency to leave all assignments until the last possible minute. I don't just mean the day before. I mean taking revision notes to the door of the exam hall with me, and staying up all night every time I have an essay to hand in. This is not healthly behaviour, but the problem is that it works consistently with good results, so like Pavlov's dog I am conditioned to this. I am able to minimise the time spent on assignments because I "know" that by simply doing nothing until the final week before any given deadline I can pick up a piece of work and cane it until it's done. The difficulty is balancing this with my perfectionist tendencies - I somehow end up trying to perfect a piece of work that I have only allocated 10-20% of the available time to concentrate on. This working pattern also gets much harder as I get older as I can't routinely stay up all night on willpower alone. Coffee somehow makes me sleepy rather than alert and caffeine supplements like Pro-Plus (do they still make that these days?) don't touch me. Oh, and of course I now have a demanding job to go to in the morning which is slightly different to being at university when you could realistically miss 50% of all the lectures and still pass provided you knew how to revise effectively.
Anyway, now is not the time to change the working habit of a lifetime. Despite starting this project almost a year ago (or at least beginning to think about it), I remember adding a note to my calendar at that time for the day before the deadline (which is this week): "stay up all night to finish project". I was never really going to work consistently on this project. Instead, I had lots of fun last year, worked really hard when necessary, and left this project until the last possible minute. And if I pass, I'll do everything exactly the same next time.