Working Ahead

I am a master procrastinator when it involves paperwork at my job. Meeting paperwork deadlines is a major item in our yearly performance evaluations. My main job is conducting psychological evaluations. I test two people a week. For psychological evaluations, I am allowed 30 calendar days to complete the evaluation report, the clock starting the day after the first testing session with the client. Holidays and sick days do not change the due dates for report completion. That means I have two reports to complete each week, in addition to testing new people.

When I am not testing people or writing up the results of the testing, I have therapy appointments and other meetings. I would much rather meet with people than spend hours at the computer scoring tests and writing reports, and since 30 days sounds like such a long period of time, I typically scramble when day 28 arrives and I have limited free time in my schedule to write. I am happy to say I almost always get my reports done on time, but usually on day 29 or 30. I often bring work home to finish it on the weekend.

I don’t know what got into me last week, but there was a perfect storm of illness-related therapy cancelations along with a slew of evaluations that required very short reports, and I finished six reports, working ahead and leaving a couple of weeks with no reports that are due. Now, I can go to South Dakota for Christmas and not have nagging paperwork worries.

A dear friend of mine, a philosophy professor, used to reward himself with a glass of cognac after reading student essays, the promise of the cognac keeping him going on the grading. I sure don’t need that sort of reward after finishing reports. I am just basking in the feeling of working ahead and reducing my ever-present anxiety.

What do you put off doing? What is the latest accomplishment of which you are proud? How do you approach paperwork?

22 thoughts on “Working Ahead”

    1. Excellent decision, Wes. Let me join you in refusing to face this task.

      Lou was just telling me yesterday about his Grandpa, the family lutefisk preparer, pulling soaking slabs of lutefisk out of a 5 gallon bucket sitting outside near the door of the meat market. I will leave it in the bucket and walk on by.

      Liked by 5 people

  1. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I approach paperwork with my head in the sand, and in my world there is a lot of paperwork to avoid. In my personal life I must write a letter of appeal to the IRS and to Medicare tomorrow, which I have been putting off for weeks now.

    During the week before Thanksgiving, I finally, finally wrote a descriptive letter of complaint to a professional organization which certifies particular skills. Immediately before the social isolation phase of the pandemic (December, 2019) we had a site visit from them, and one particular person was deeply unprofessional with her demeanor and conduct. I avoided writing this letter of complaint for 2 years, when suddenly I had the personal mojo to write the thing. Basically, I told the president of the organization that we were withdrawing from the certification process because we did not want to be involved with an agency which supported the conduct I complained about. I have not heard back, and I suspect I never will, but I sure feel better.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I remember the incident you refer to, and I think it is rather ironic that the therapeutic focus of those type of skills is meant for changing the sort of behavior demonstrated by the person who was unprofessional.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Anything like filling out forms (like those for the VA that I may have mentioned) require my morning brain, so I now try and get that stuff done early, perhaps even before Husband is up. That said, things can drag on for way too long since I have the excuse that it’s too late in the day to start something. Online forms are the worst.

    That VA paperwork is one of the things I’m proud of, esp. since it involved getting numbers to balance.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Morning kids. My phonebook Burke I tend to procrastinate on. I like doing it, I just don’t always get around to it. Although the last two years, and being home and around more, I’ve kept up pretty well. Right up until classes started at the college this fall and now I have a basket full of receipts and nothing entered and I really should do some tax preparation before the end of the year. We’ll see.

    I have to write a final paper for geology class, it’s due Sunday, he says early papers get extra points so I hope to submit that tonight. Kelly approved it last night and I have some minor punctuation to correct. And of course it needs references supposedly in the proper format. We’ll see about that.
    It is supposed to be at least 1500 words. I’m over 2300.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I am rather proud of my recent cooking. On Tuesday I made mashed cauliflower. Butter, sour cream, spices. Yummy.
    Today I boiled potatoes, cabbage and onions with paprika, onion salt, oregano, pepper and cummin.
    The leftover broth made great soup with Ramen noodles.
    All the spice stuff was a guess. No measuring.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a favorite use for onion skins – when I hardboil eggs I put a few in the water. It turns the eggshells brown, sort of a light brown, which makes them a different color than the raw eggs in the fridge. Those are usually either white, or if they’re brown, a darker brown. Helps to have a visual cue to distinguish what kind of egg I’m dealing with.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Choir concert rehearsal tonight. A girl passed out. I think she just locked her knees.
    But I was so pleased, the director sent everyone out to the seats and gave her space. I called security to come up, a couple people stayed with her until she felt better.
    Course that’s rehearsal… performance? I wonder.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I put off preparing our tax return till the last minute, and every year I ask myself why I do that. It really isn’t that bad (our tax returns are pretty damn basic) and I always get a refund, so it makes no sense at all to postpone it, but I do.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m another paperwork hating Baboon.

    I loathe invoicing, updating patterns/designs after finalizing the problem solving? Hate. It.

    But having to reconstruct something a week or more after the fact is even worse, especially as there is now just too much in the works to hold so much in my head (which is a good thing on one level)- so I’ve finally forced myself to adopt the habit of “logging as I go”.

    The phrase “are you really going to want to do this later?” is a big help.

    The fact that modern technology means that all that information is also now searchable for other purposes is an added incentive.

    Like

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