Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Do I Procrastinate?

I hereby dub myself “Queen of the Procrastinators.” How do I procrastinate? Let me count the ways.

Instead of working on my WIP:

·         * Yesterday I baked bread.
·        *  Today I cleaned my keyboard.
·        *  Once I even cleaned my stove!
·        *  I go grocery shopping.
·        *  I check e-mail.
·        *  I have lunch.
·           *  I do dishes.
And on and on…

I even took a class on procrastination once. No, not how to, but how to avoid doing it. I think I need to re-read my notes!

One thing the instructor recommended was to make an appointment with yourself. Every day from 9 to 10 a.m. (or whatever time you designate) I will write. Period. Nothing should interfere with this appointment. This is creating a habit, and most likely you will end up working longer, because you’ll find you’re on a roll.

Reward yourself for doing this. Even something that seems as silly as putting a sticker on your calendar each day that you write is a huge thing. I did this a few years ago and I found that if I had a day that interfered with my writing and I couldn’t put up a sticker, I was disappointed. I became determined to fill my calendar with stickers every day (except Sunday. It’s OK to give yourself permission to take a day off).

Some writers set a daily word goal. And maybe the reward for that is to check e-mail AFTER you’ve accomplished this goal. Or to go for a walk (that results in a number of rewards, mentally and physically). Or meet someone for coffee.

How do you procrastinate? And how do you overcome it?

Heidi M. Thomas


Karen Cioffi said...

Heidi, I think most of us use didn't chores or projects to procrastinate. I find myself checking my email before I start writing. This can be time consuming and is a great way to avoid actually having to get down to it.

I also jump into different marketing webinars, projects, or information, which is another time drainer.

If I have a time sensitive project that needs to be done I forgo the email. At least I have some discipline. :)

And, I'm definitely procrastinating about getting my ebooks on Kindle and CreateSpace.

Magdalena Ball said...

I procrastinate by reading (and commenting on) blog posts! Mail too. I like the idea of writing first, and checking second.

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