Disclaimer: There is probably no paradox involved in this, but I can only think of titles that are alliteration.
When I was interviewing for my first time full-time job I was really excited about the use of co-created supervision rubrics based on individualized conversations with staff members and I used it in my answers. Once I accepted my first full time role, I was excited to meet my staff so I could put this answer into practice. I was pushing aside the necessary preparation work until I had a full product ready for testing. The error of my ways has resurfaced in my consciousness recently and has refused to dissipate until I acknowledge it. I procrastinated; I pushed back working on this project because of the prominence of other products, training, or work.
Even today I do not have the supervision rubric that I envisioned months ago, but I do have insight to offer the world about procrastination. Honestly, I am not entirely convinced I am speaking of procrastination but about our perception of time in student affairs. Within student affairs there is always a perceived “off-season” where our loads of work will not be as large or immediate and all those projects, tweaks, and changes that need to be made can be created, explained, and implemented. For many functional areas this time is likely to be summer. I admit readily that I am currently suffering from this right now. I have identified this “summer” as a time where I will be able to perfect the changes I have already made and develop the changes I still want to make. Is it possible?
Hindsight is interesting because a person can see all the warning signs and blame themselves for not noticing then. Foresight is interesting because a person can see the possibilities but forgets the earthly complications that already exist in our daily lives. For me I find it easy to forget that summer is a time in which I will not live in a bubble where all of my responsibilities are absent. I am still to complete my obligations, but they will look differently than during an academic year.
Summer is not a panacea for the work we have failed to set time aside for.
Groundbreaking, isn’t it? I shared that statement with a respectable coworker. See their response below.
We are all in this paradox together. We are still going to think “I have to wait until summer to do this” or “I can’t do this until summer.” You may be unable to tackle an entire project or lead a departmental change right now, but what you are able to do at this point is lay the groundwork. Maybe it is ten minutes a day writing down your ideas. Find yourself with half an hour before the end of the work day? Begin by creating a timeline or a list of persons you need to work with to make this project a reality. There are ample things you can do right now to make your summer project a reality and not simply a magical time where you have deposited all the changes you need/want to make. I believe in us and you should too.