Monday, May 12, 2008

On the Pitfalls of Being a Perfectionist

It, I'm sure, will come as no surprise to those who know me when I say that I am a perfectionist. I think to get into graduate school one has to be. But being a perfectionist has it's disadvantages and the most disruptive of which, for me, is procrastination.

I've spent the last two days avoiding writing a paper on issues to consider when conducting violence against women research in minority populations. Why? Because this is not my area of expertise. I am new to this. So I'm scared to write it. In two days I have written one page. Eeek. And I'm presenting this in 4 and a half weeks at a conference.

For the past two days I've had Word open. I would approach the paper. Write a little. Then decide I was hungry and get something to eat. I would come back to the paper, think about what to write, re-think about what to write, then get annoyed and go get something else to eat. Then I would decide "maybe I need to read more." So I would pull out the many papers I've found on the topic of violence against women, and read a little only to realize that it wasn't helping and that I may be wasting time reading. So I would then go back to the paper, write a little more with nay a care about well formed sentences, get stuck, and take another break. I would look at my many written notes and not know how to organize them, get annoyed and take another break. This has continued for the past two days. Yesterday I promised today would not be like this, and today I make the same promise about tomorrow. I just hope I can keep it. And now I have another paper to work which does not scare me as much, but on which I have procrastinated all semester.

Procrastination is my life.

1 comment:

Natalia said...

Hi Farheen! I noticed your comments on the arabization of Islam at Muslimah Media Watch, and I was wondering, would you like to do an essay about this for either GlobalComment or ArabComment.

There seems to be a real trend of framing what is and isn't halal in strictly Arab terms (and, to think more specifically, conservative Saudi terms as well - you know, a black abaya is the only acceptable garment for a Muslim woman, etc.).

So, if you want to write about it, and write about your mom, for example, and the comments she received, I'd love to be able to publish a piece like that. I'd especially love to see something like that go up on ArabComment, as food for thought.

Let me know, my e-mail address is, natalia [at] globalcomment [dot] com