“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” ~ Mark Twain
Today is Fight Procrastination Day. Although it’s not an official holiday, it is a day that should be recognized. The word “procrastination” comes from the Latin word procrastinat, meaning, “deferred till the morning.” I’m often guilty of deferring long past morning.
While working at my day job, I never procrastinate. Each morning I respond to new e-mails, return phone messages and tackle my list of tasks one by one. At home, bills are paid as soon as they’re received, junk mail is discarded upon receipt, income tax returns are filed by the end of January and laundry is folded as soon as it’s taken out of the dryer.
Unfortunately, when it came to my writing, I was the polar opposite. If I had a block of time designated for writing, I would check my personal e-mails, peruse author websites or read blogs I follow. I could never get started. I was squandering valuable free time and then I felt guilty.
Here are some ways that helped me break my cycle of procrastination:
1. Changed my environment. With a writing pad and pen, I stepped away from my computer. Whether I went to another room in the house or outside on the patio, writing with pen and paper, I became more productive.
2. Stopped thinking and started doing. A bit of planning was helping me to achieve what I wanted to achieve, but a lot of planning and thinking was paralyzing me. I had to accept the fact that there is no perfect plan when it comes to writing so I just had to write.
3. Created a detailed timeline with specific deadlines. I broke my goals down into monthly, weekly and daily task lists. Instead of just setting a goal to write a novel, which can be an overwhelming thought, I broke down my goal with a detailed timelime for my word count.
I’m not saying I never procrastinate, everyone is guilty of it from time to time. While working on this post, I got up to run the vacuum upstairs and then got my fall decorations out of the attic. I allowed myself to become distracted from the task at hand. However, when I admitted I was simply procrastinating, I sat down and completed this post.
What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?