I failed

Well, I failed. My deadline for my grad thesis is tomorrow but on the weekend I figured that I won’t be able to finish it. I had half a year time and got even an extension of six weeks. The last two weeks I had usually less than six hours sleep. Sometimes I went to bad past midnight, carried my tiny one around once or twice in the night and then I got back to work at half past four in the morning. But I didn’t get a lot done. And I am still far from finished?

So, what happened? People who know me, know that I am totally in this GTD-thing, yadda yadda. For starters as I already noticed with my term papers, GTD doesn’t really seem to work with that. The problem is mainly that reading books for example is hard to break down into smaller tasks. The best I could get out of it was noting down questions and reminders when I have to extend or return books to the library. But otherwise my draft-files had just comment lines with TODO: in it, so that I know what I have to do at that place.

Ok, so I found that out, but what happened?

Well, what killed me in the end was that I didn’t worked continously enough. I have a full-time job, I had one kid, now two and did stuff like going to karate-training for preparing for a tournament[footnote]Which I failed utterly, too. Always more or less in last place and one of my fingertips will be crooked for the rest of my life probably.[/footnote]. I started a new blog where I posted on a daily basis, just a couple of weeks before the deadline. I beat several video games and for some I played for a week every evening and each time I was commuting. All that while knowing that I have a hard deadline and a second kid is coming. Procrastination at its best.

The result? Tons of stress in the final weeks without a chance to finish the thesis. A deep feeling of failure that still follows me a couple of days after realizing that I won’t make it[footnote]Didn’t ruined my birthday but still no good :/[/footnote]. I have to get a new topic or have to spin my topic enough that I can recycle work from the old one. Again a hit in study career that went for too long already.

And now? I have to meet with my professor to talk about what to do now. At least I started to gather my book lists for my written and oral exams that I have to do. And when I met with my professor, I will have some failsafes. Every sunday evening I have to report to someone on what I’ve done this week and I will try to set up meetings with my professor what I was reluctant to do before. I hope those two things work to get me working. And then there is the additional pressure that I have only a second try. If I don’t meet the goal this time, my studies were worthless and I won’t get that paper that prooves that I learned something in the past.

And why did I write all this? For one because I don’t want to explain me too often, it’s hard enough to tell the world that you failed in an important task. And then I hope I can help others that they read this and might see the signs in a similar situation earlier and start installing failsafes for themself.

Niels Kobschätzki @nielsk