Procrastination: My own worst enemy.

Oh my! I’ve been terrible at keeping to my weekly schedule lately, haven’t I?

I could make 100 excuses, but in the end, there really has been no reason to not sit down at my computer for a couple hours and do my blogging. My procrastination has taken over again, which I am kicking myself for now. My apologies!

I’m the first to admit I can find other things to do when I should be staying on task. Probably not something I should be admitting, but only by admitting it can I make the changes I need to.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

In a sense, it’s like anything else. You do not see it being a problem until you admit there’s a problem. After that, you can then take the steps needed to fix it. I suppose it’s along the lines of health issues. If you don’t think you’re overweight you’re not going to change your exercise and eating habits. If you don’t think you drink too much you’re not going to cut back.

What is procrastination?

In a nutshell, it’s putting off until tomorrow what should be done today.

Procrastination affects us all to some degree. Sadly some more than others. And it’s the tasks we like the least that we procrastinate the most. Or, in the case of writers, not knowing what to write about when we sit down at the computer.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just do what needs to be done so we can move on to the next part of our day?

Don’t get me wrong: I love my blogs and I enjoy sharing what I know/do with you. Perhaps it’s the overwhelm I’m feeling right now with the upcoming move, and having to go through a house full of things. It’s amazing how much “stuff” a person collects over the years.

In all honesty, procrastinating with the sorting and packing is also a thing. I have been trying to do something each day; even if it’s just one box or tote. Or one thing out in the yard. And I may have overdone it yesterday, so I’m glad today is a rainy, breezy day. It’s giving me more incentive to sit down and get my blogs done and spend a little more time on a course I’m taking.

How to avoid procrastination.

I honestly don’t think it can be avoided 100 percent, but there are things we can do to make things easier on ourselves.

  • Start the task and finish it. Chances are the task at hand really isn’t going to take up a lot of time. And if it is, break it up into smaller tasks so there’s some progress made.
  • Be accountable. It’s easy to piss around and not do what you should be doing if you’re the only one who knows what needs doing. (Pot calling the kettle black here.) Something as simple as a little chart (light bulb moment for a printable) can go a long way to show progress. I need to do this, because sometimes my planner just isn’t enough. And seeing a lot of checkmarks, stars, or coloured in squares is a reward in itself.
  • Set a timer. The Pomodoro technique does work…if you stick to it. I have used it and have been much more productive than when I don’t.
  • Delegate if possible. When you’re working for yourself it’s a little more difficult to delegate the tasks. If your budget allows, hire a VA for the little things so you can spend more time on the big things. It’s easy to get caught up in the social media posts, Pinterest pins, and other shiny objects. Let someone else do those while you pay attention to the main project at hand, using the Pomodoro technique if necessary.
  • Reward yourself. I know this sounds a little childish, but it works. We all need a little positive reinforcement, and something as simple as a new book or spending some time colouring in an adult colouring book (yes, the ones with the f-word) is sometimes all it takes.

Now, as I have been writing my brain has been going 100 miles an hour; so I’ve been making notes (better than starting something new instead of getting this done) of things to do later.

If you’re like me, and I feel you are in some ways (or you wouldn’t be reading this), shiny objects do try to lead you astray. By jotting down those shiny objects you can remember them, but finish the task at hand before you start chasing them.

And yes, I will try hard to practice what I preach. 🙂

That all being said, sometimes we get taken away from our writing/task because something unexpected comes up that needs our attention.

Case in point: As I was writing I had an email pop up from an Etsy customer regarding one of my crochet patterns. Instead of making her wait (and risking a bad review) I responded with demo photos of a stitch she was unclear about. I didn’t have those photos handy, so grabbed a hook and some yarn to show her what I meant. Once they were sent off, I resumed my post.

Thanks to my Etsy customer, I have a photo for this post. The link will take you to the listing, if you’re interested in learning how to make a lingerie/doll clothes bag.

At the end of the day we should procrastinate less, but sometimes things do come up. It’s up to us to decide what should take precedence. For me, it was a 10-minute delay in finishing my post. For my customer, it was quick service and the solution to a problem she was having.

Question: Are you guilty of procrastinating a little…or a lot?

Hot Hot Summer

Is it really the 5th of August?

I’ve been trying to stay cool, but in my single level home without AC it’s not an easy thing to do. This summer has been the hottest I can remember, and I’ve seen a LOT of summers.

My rain gauge recorded 1.52 mm (yes, mm) of rain in July, and so far this month there hasn’t been anything more than a light shower that barely got the deck wet. I’m worried for the farmers; their livelihood depends so much on the weather.

I’m fortunate to live out in the country because I am able to water my garden with well water. I’m glad I took the time to build more raised beds this year, as it makes watering, weeding, and harvesting easier. Plus, just the veggies are getting watered; not all the weeds too. (Although, the weeds do seem to thrive no matter what the water situation is.)

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

My last few posts have been about grief and missing Ross, which is where I’m at. However, as much as I miss him I do know it’s not what I should focus on. There are still some hard days, and there are some good ones too. Life goes on no matter what shit-show we’re dealt, and it’s up to us to make the best of each day.

I have spent some time working on new planners and have recently listed two new ones in my Etsy Shop. One is digital (for use with Goodnotes or Noteworthy), and the other is basically the same thing but set up to be a printable. The printable version has an extra category and contains only one of each sheet. Not only does that make it more economical, it also gives you the option to only print the pages you need (and as many of them as you wish for your own use).

The latest planner I designed.

Most people have a Bucket List, which is all the things they want to do before they die. After I hiked to the summit of a mountain in Jasper last fall, I decided there should be a Fuck-It List as well. And by that I mean doing something on the Bucket List, but not wanting to do it again. My latest planners contain that list. 🙂

I am currently revamping the Writer’s Planner I have listed in my shop. It’s going to be easier to use, is clearer than the first one, and will be available as a printable only. I may consider designing a digital one down the road, but for now I feel the printable is better geared to where writers like me are at.

I’m finally getting to a place where the things I enjoyed doing before Ross passed away are bringing me joy again. I love to write, design printables, and design crocheted items. Today marks the 15th month since he passed away, and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or miss him. As I have said before; I’m not moving on, I’m moving forward.

Now if you’re wondering how I created the planners, I have to give credit where credit is due. I enrolled in a course by The Secret OWL Society and have worked my way through the lessons. If you are interested in checking it out for yourself and creating your own for personal use or as a business, check out the Digital Planner Template. (Please note: I am an affiliate for this product and will receive commission from your purchase, but at no extra cost to you.)

I am enjoying the planner creation process and have learned about myself in the midst of it all. I love the versatility it gives me to move forward during this season of my life.

Have a wonderful day!

Mastering Time Management

Stock image courtesy of Canva.

The week has flown by, and the weekend is already half over. The scariest part, is July is almost over. Where has our summer gone?

My work weeks never seem to be productive at home, because after spending all day on my feet I just don’t feel like doing much. I probably shouldn’t let it bother me, but it does.

I hate to admit it, but something I struggle with is time management. When I’m working my shift at the library, I seem to get a lot done in a day. But when I’m home it’s a whole different story.

I have been using a bullet journal for about a year and a half (give or take). I have tried several different layouts and have decided simple is best. Sure, the bujos on Instagram are nice to look at, but they must take a lot of time to make pretty. When I started out, I followed the pretty layouts but soon found myself spending more time journaling and planning than doing what I was supposed to be.

I borrowed a copy of Ryder Carroll’s The Bullet Journal from my local library (yes, the one I work at) and his method is super simple. Granted it doesn’t look as fancy and colourful as others I have seen, but there’s something to be said about the simplicity.

I have added a habit tracker this month to mine, because I found myself rewriting some of the same things day after day. I stepped away from the habit tracker for several months, but found it’s something I benefit from. This way I can keep track of how often I do my morning pages, water my plants, vacuum, do laundry and so forth. Plus, I also have the bottom half of it as a health tracker. I like to keep track of how often I walk in a month, how many nights I get to bed before midnight, do my yoga/pilates and even lady days.

Not all planning and time management systems work for everyone, which is why I like the flexibility of my BuJo. I like the concept of the future log, as pictured below. I can plan the major events a year in advance if I like, then add to it each month as occasions and appointments pop up. It’s looking pretty empty right now, but it will fill up as time goes on.

In previous months, I have actually drawn out a calendar but am finding Ryder’s method much easier. The days of the month are listed, one per line, and events, holidays and appointments are added as the month goes on. It not only takes up less space, but I can see at a glance what I can schedule for when.

When it comes to the daily pages, I had been dedicating one page per day, but found some days the pages were almost empty. Now I’m filling the pages with one, two or even three days worth of tasks/notes. I haven’t been doing a task list for each week anymore, but the daily pages take care of what needs to be done each day. I’ve gotten into the habit of filling it out right before bed, or first thing in the morning. That way, I don’t miss anything.

The photo below shows a couple of entries for days earlier this month. The tenth has a list starting on the previous page, but notice what was scheduled, what was done and the notes added to the days.

I know I still have a long way to go to manage my time perfectly (or even relatively close), but having it in writing has been positive for me. I find the more things I have going on, the more I need to schedule them in. One thing I haven’t scheduled in is novel-writing time, and have thus not touched it.

My manager and I were checking out Lynda.com yesterday; an online resource for courses available to library patrons. One of the first I will be taking is on time management. Since I work from home more than the library, I really need to learn some tricks to keep my household obligations separate from my work time (side hustle). I may be doing a follow up post after I take the course, providing I find it helpful.

Do you have trouble budgeting your time? If not, what system (if any) do you use to stay on track?

Photos (Copyright Diane Ziomek 2019) were taken specifically for this post, and are intended for single use only.

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