Thursday, March 10, 2011

Russian Push

Have you heard of the Russian push? I'm not Russian but the Russian push describes my working style perfectly. The way it works is the following: say you have sixty days to complete a project. For fifty-seven days you do absolutely nothing. Then, three days before the project is due, you realize that you've done nothing. For the next three days you work non-stop, make an inhuman effort, develop an incredible speed for every part of the task, come up with extremely inventive ways to optimize the process, and complete the project on time.

After which you feel too tired to move for two weeks in a row. 

And then you get a new project.


Rimi said...

Russian push, eh? I thought this was how normal people (i.e, NOT weirdos who do things like scheduling sensibly and then sticking to the schedule) do things. Every one of my friends works on exactly this principle, and nearly all of the them are brilliant. The rest are really really smart. The only two people, naming no names, who work diligently -- and I'm sure this is a complete coincidence -- are shallow fools.

Pagan Topologist said...

I'm curious...what do you do if you have a job which must be done by February 1, say, and there is some data collection for the project which can only be done in early November, since the possibility won't exist at any other time?

I sometimes work the same way, but I do my very best work when I do not have a deadline at all.

Clarissa said...

Rimi: :-))))))))))))))))

PT: This never happened to me. But a true Russian? S/he would get somebody else to collect the data in November. :-)

Pagan Topologist said...

I sometimes describe myself as having a subclinical case of bipolar disorder, wherein a project leads to a manic episode which enables me to finish it, followed by a crash which prevents any continued progress on anything for far too long a period of time.

Clarissa said...

Now you can describe yourself as having a subclinical case of Rusianness. :-)

Pagan Topologist said...

Interesting. this has happened to me. The most recent time was when I was chairing a peer review committee of a colleague. We were instructed to observe this faculty member's classes during fall semester as a part of the evaluation of teaching. The final review was due sometime in February.