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.
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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.
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?