Actually this article attempts to warn you about the 5 things not to do when you should rather engage in any time-consuming and complicated activity, especially when the deadline is close. I use the situation of having to write an academic paper or essay or assignment because that’s the example with which I have gained the most personal experience. Of course, the rules apply equally for work or business assignments, for building a tree house for your children or for preparing a funeral speech.
In order to competently write about these distractions, I have sacrificed myself and can warn you about each of them based on personal experience.
- Do not open your e-mail folder or your Google Reader with the intent of “clearing up everything that is in it.” Much better would be to not open either of these until you have finished and submitted your paper. If you are tempted, just delete anything that is in there. If it was important, people will resend it.
- Do not start to play a game of “Railroad Tycoon” or “Civilization” or whatever addicting computer games people play these days.
- Do not start to read an unputdownable book like “The Da Vinci Code”, “The Confederacy of Dunces” or “Alone in Berlin“.
- Do not get into a relationship. In fact, having to write an academic paper is a good reason to break up the relationship: “Honey, it really isn’t you, but I want to get that PhD. Maybe I’ll have time for you again in three years.”
- Do not watch the first episode of a new season of the TV series “24”. You won’t be able to stop.