How many of you are procrastinators?
Oh, come on don’t be shy.
I admit, procrastination is my arch nemesis. Has anyone ever visited Wait But Why blog? Tim Urban states it succinctly. He is quite brilliant but difficult to follow at times. I imagine that many of you probably think the same about me when I change directions without signaling.
There are a couple of truths that hit home with me.
- The 11th hour push. The deadline is 6 weeks away – I have time. The deadline is 4 weeks away – I have time. The deadline is 2 weeks away – I should get on that, . . . right after the YouTube video, then the next one, and the next one . . .ooh, shiny! The deadline is HOLY CRAP IT’S 2 DAYS FROM NOW – Work like a madwoman, writing 65000 words in 48 hours skipping meals and sleep, contemplating depends as a means of cutting down on interruptions. I’m just joking. About the depends anyway.
- Procrastinators are ingenious at inventing ways in which to procrastinate. Like, making a blog post about being a procrastinator instead of writing that next chapter in my current WIP, or doing that online class that I must have to renew my MLO license but instead going down the rabbit hole of Pinterest. Here’s a short list of procrastination vices: YouTube, Google, Sudoku, blogging, bujo (ironically both a tool for procrastinating and keeping me on task to avoid procrastinating), Facebook, crafting, binge watching TV series, shopping, planning – just about anything from writing an outline to planning the menu, to planning projects.*
- Whatever the THING that is most important, now becomes the least fun. Think about it, it’s true. a) I am an author. Top priority should be writing my books, yet when I sit down to write my mind races with the NEXT book idea. It’s not a matter of writer’s block for me, it’s a matter of focus on the project at hand. b) I made the commitment to rent space at our antique mall to sell some of the many things we own and sell some of my handcrafted items. Making the stuff is far more fun than tagging, logging and tracking the stuff. c) Much needed housework is not fun and becomes an easy to put off task resulting in clutter until the point that I can’t stand it and it’s all out war. these are just a few examples.
- Being an authorpreneure leaves an open-ended schedule. I need deadlines. (Refer back to item 1) I try to set my own deadlines, really I do. But it just isn’t the same. My deadlines are more like guidelines, like the Pirate’s Code – more of a guideline. OOH, maybe we could watch that this afternoon since it’s rainy and . . . NO, I must have stuff ready for the booth by Friday! See? I have a deadline. This isn’t a self-imposed deadline, which is a guideline. This is a hard date deadline set by someone else, in a business that I have paid hard-earned money to.
- I had a Fifth point, really I did. Otherwise known as the squirrel, the rabbit, the shiny. Distractions are a procrastinators kryptonite.
So what do you get when you combine a Creative, a writer, an idea person, and procrastination?
ME, you get me. You get a creative person that struggles with time management needing a firm deadline in order to stay on task.
The good news is that procrastination can be overcome. YAY! IT’s not easy, but it is possible. Breaking the procrastination cycle takes hard work and constant vigilance. I haven’t achieved that yet, just so you know.
- I mentioned the planning projects as means of procrastinating. This is where the bujo is a double-edged sword. I will elaborate more in a post about my bujo, but briefly : I am in a group on Facebook for bullet journaling. In this group, many of the people share pictures of their gorgeous planners. I look at my planner which is mostly writing and I get journal envy. I have to remind myself that it’s a tool, not a plaything. Many of the women in this group (there may be men that this applies to, but I have only seen women.) spend hours decorating their bullet journals, working on their writing, tracking everything you can imagine. I found myself trying to decorate my bullet journal to make it prettier, and falling behind on my to-do lists. So the very thing that I began using for the purpose of keeping me on task became a distraction to accomplishing those items on my to-do list. It only took me about a week to realize what I was doing and get back on track.
Procrastination enables us to waste valuable time on things that don’t move us towards our goals, but instead keeps us in a waiting station on the ride to nowhere.
Make a choice today to move towards your goals!
Write on my friends, write on.