I’ll tell you a secret about myself if you promise not to laugh
at me. I’m a born procrastinator. Really! (Okay, you who work
with me are laughing and shaking your heads—stop that! I can see
you!) Honestly, I have all the traits. I am eager to get started on projects, and I adore the re-
search and development phase of any new undertaking. I always did like going to school.
I find the act of meeting and getting to know new people,
some of whom go on to become fast friends with me, to be
But I don’t always jump in right after the meeting and do the work that
is required to finish a job. Now, understand, I do finish my projects, just not
right away every time, as I believe that
Sometimes the delay is just exhaustion. I work so hard and I’m so pumped
up during the research and development phase of a task that it is difficult,
sometimes, to gather up the energy to
actually put the words to paper and get
on with it.
On occasion I discover that I am intimidated by the scope of the project.
Really big stories, with lots of voices and
plot lines need to be woven, and that
weaving is a skill that doesn’t lend itself
to being pushed. One needs time...but
not too much time...to pull the disparate
voices into a chorus and truly make that
kind of story sing. I can always “see”
the story developed in my mind’s eye,
but it is almost as if I need to wind myself, as one might wind a watch spring,
before I can begin.
So how is it that I manage to succeed
at being both a writer and an editor
if I feel like I’m dragging my feet to
the finish line on some projects? My
survival tool is that I create, then meet absolute deadlines.
Being in print media, there is always a day on which we
must let the printer print, if we are to have this magazine
to you in time. And it is always to you in time. That day,
(I call it “drop dead day”) everything about the magazine
must be perfect. The package must be right, finished, and
uploaded to the printer. No exceptions. Anything not perfect at that point is a gaff. Sometimes they are irreparable.
Most times we can fix a gaff for some
cash, but for the sake of efficiency and
efficacy we may choose to believe that
Without deadlines I’m not sure I’d
succeed—I’m telling you the truth here,
and for a reason. I want you, fresh from
the latest, greatest Women in Aviation, International Conference, full of
dreams and aspirations and the energy
to make exciting changes in your life,
to set some deadlines to do just that.
Change. Expand. Learn. Reach out.
These are all reasons why you spent
the time and money to come to Atlanta and hobnob with other WAI members
for a few days. You have goals.
Don’t procrastinate. Give yourself a
reasonable amount of time...but not too
much! Start by writing a few thank-you
notes to the people who touched you the
most at the Conference. In those notes
spell out your plan of action for changing your life, your career. It is cathartic.
Then photocopy the best of those notes
and put it up on your wall, somewhere
where you will see it.
Read it like you do your calendar.
Every day. Use it as an outline. And every day, make a bit of that change that
you want come true. You might have
to delegate (or learn to delegate) a few tasks. And you may
find yourself working in parallel or as a team with another
person, such as a spouse or loved one, or entity (such as a
school) to achieve your dream.
It might take a year (that’s okay) or more, but it will work.
You’ll see change, and for the good. I know. Believe me,
I know. ✈
Start by writing
a few thank-you notes
to the people
who touched you
the most at the
Conference. In those
notes spell out your
plan of action for
changing your life,
Then photocopy the
best of those notes and
put it up on your wall,
you will see it.