Starting is Hard

On a typical week I would typically post a new blog each Tuesday & Thursday evening… typically. These last weeks have been anything but typical. My apologies if you, on one of those nights, were anxiously awaiting another post. I got caught up in the recent problems I’ve been having trying to set up my film course with technology and I also had difficulties readjusting to the courses I’m taking as a student. This all leads me to the inevitable conclusion that starting is hard.

Things are new, potentially exciting, and shiny… but it is still hard to start. We are, in a way, creatures of habit. When I’m really doing well (somewhere after the first couple of weeks of the semester) I’m on a roll. I’ve got myself and my schedule figured out: I’m no longer peering down at a list telling me where my class is in that building I’ve never been in before. This familiarity with schedules, locations, times, and expectations is of inestimable value considering the difficulties getting started in the first place.

An additional difficulty, though, are the things you need to do but aren’t held accountable for. I’ve always been the type of student that doesn’t ditch class. The theatre taught me that deadlines existed (the curtain would open on a certain night) and the fear of standing in front of hundreds of people and not knowing what to say kept me on track for getting my work done on time. I also had directors and fellow actors working night after night to prepare for the show. What happens when you don’t have a director though? What happens when you can’t count on the pressure of embarrassment in front of hundreds of paying ticket holders? What happens when, if you fail, you’re only failing yourself?

I’ve never been a big fan of scheduling and the most difficult task I face is working on the small stuff, day in and day out, until the larger project is actually completed. While I could probably research and write a paper over a weekend it would never be my best work. My solution to this problem, for better or for worse, is to schedule time for these things during the day. Take the time I might have for a class period (but is “free time”) and assign that time, in my schedule, to completing a task that only I will be accountable for at the end of the day. I’m not sure whether this will work… but I’m giving it a try. It’s better than NOT focusing on work and struggling over a weekend. What do you do?