Two of the main pieces of advice given in the attempt to train people to compete down, and my answers to them.
Standard: Submit to conferences abstracts for things you are going to write, that should be done by then. If they come out slightly different than planned, that is all right, you explain it at the conference. Doing this gives you deadlines, a time to aim for.
I say: Submitting things to conferences slows you down because the deadlines are always so far away. Instead, submit to conferences things you already have finished. If they seem stale by then you can add to them a day or two ahead. This way you can keep working; conferences presentations are byproducts and not benchmarks.
I say, alternatively: Send to conferences tributary streams of your project, footnotes to it, byproducts of it. Then you do not have to focus on the conference paper/article as a goal. Instead you focus on your project itself and let it move ahead.
My projects always look like heavy engines pulling long trains and once you get one of these going you should not have to stop it until it gets to a major station on its own route. Conferences are more like dropping off a container, which you can do by simply slowing down and letting that car roll down the parallel track.
If your manuscript is going from Moscow to Paris, for example, its stops are as follows: Vyazma, Smolensk, Minsk, Brest, Terespol, Warsaw, Poznan, Rzepin, Berlin, Fulda, Hanover, Frankfurt, Metz. You don’t stop in the other towns.
Standard: Don’t get involved in any projects outside of work because they will encroach on your work time. You may not get that next promotion if you have any distractions. Postpone all other activities. Save the present for tomorrow.
I say: This is one of the worst forms of procrastination there is. Why, furthermore, is it assumed that you will let other projects encroach on your work time any more than they let recreation or whiskey encroach on theirs? Are people just jealous because you have life and passions and they do not?