From The New York Times, studies show how fooling ourselves to think deadlines are closer or within certain specific parameters help us get started with the work needed:
Research into procrastination has noted that people have much less concern about their future selves than their present selves — and are willing to sell their future selves down the river for the sake of present ease. But when the present marches into the future, and we are confronted with the work that our past selves refused to do, we pay the price in unmet deadlines, all-nighters and general torment.
So if a few little tricks can manipulate us into thinking that time is of the essence, why not give them a try?
The later you go to bed at night, the more likely you are to be haunted by persistent, negative thoughts throughout the day, suggests a new study in Cognitive Therapy and Research led by Binghamton University psychologist Jacob A. Nota. He had 100 undergrads fill out surveys that asked about their sleep habits, what they worried most about, and how often they worried.
The students' average reported bedtime was 1 a.m., but some went to sleep as early as 10 p.m.; others stayed up as late as 5 a.m. After analyzing their responses, the researchers found an association between repetitive negative thinking and later bedtimes. Worrying was also linked with less time sleeping overall.
Here’s what I’m saying: Although my unplanned career path turned out fine, choosing to go wide versus deep should be made consciously, not accidentally. Each path offers tremendous reward if followed with passion and commitment, but each requires different skills and approaches to be successful.
Going deep requires incredible focus, lifelong commitment to a single cause, a willingness to be patient towards achieving success, and the confidence to follow a path others may not understand or value. Whether it’s as a research scientist, designer, chef or software engineer, committing to a single discipline and pushing it as far as you possibly can holds the potential to make a significant dent on the planet.
Going wide, on the other hand, is about making connections between what you already know and what you’re curious about discovering. It requires systems thinking in order for the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts. It means developing the skills to collaborate for the purpose of learning. It’s about seeing the creative possibilities in breaking down boundaries and describing the world, your organization, the problem in new ways. It probably means having a difficult time describing to your parents what you do.
I can relate to Brown's career, mine has also been decidedly (and purposely) wide.