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?