Why procrastinate? Well, we have many months of days and hours in which to do all the things that need to be done, right? So what’s the hurry to get started?
This is especially written with writers in mind, but hey! It can apply to any one of you who are reading this post right now. How do I know? Because you followed the link! You read the title! You saw the word: Procrastinate! And you knew it was for you.
So let’s get started. After all, we have plenty time right?
And that brings us to #1.
- Think of how much time you have to get your task done. Especially at the beginning of a year! 365 days. Amazing. Except, wait. It’s already into April (if you’re reading this the day its posted). Still, plenty time until the end of the year. So relax. Play. Procrastinate! You can start work tomorrow!
- Study a picture. Did you notice the graphic at the top of the page? Isn’t it cool? Take another look at it and make sure you can figure out the message. It sounds good. Of course, for some of us that could mean we are meant to be looking at Facebook or Twitter for the rest of our lives. Hmmm. That brings us to point #3.
- Start your day by checking on Social Media. After all, it’s important to know what your friends are going to do today. And someone may have commented on a photo you posted yesterday. If you like, limit yourself to ten minutes— but then cover your clock and turn your watch around. You’ll be amazed how much time this can guzzle up as you procrastinate around the web.
- Check your emails. Just look for important messages, after all you don’t want to waste time. Delete all the others—after you’ve read them of course.
- Read a few blogs you enjoy. Allow yourself to follow links that look promising. You never know how much you can learn from other people, even those you don’t know. While you’re about it . . .
- Go to the websites of one or two of the blog writers and learn more about their lifestyles and how they manage to achieve so much. Especially read any articles pertaining to time-management. Those could be important once you start work.
- Dream! Be creative! Think of all the great things you’re going to do this year. Don’t forget to make notes of your brilliant ideas. They could revolutionise your life.
- Pay attention to your appearance. Just because you’re procrastinating doesn’t mean you want to look like a slob. When did you last paint your nails? Do you want to wear that new white shirt that you washed yesterday? Take time to quickly iron it and get yourself looking—and feeling—good.
- Don’t try to figure out why you are procrastinating. That’s just a waste of time. Maybe you’re burned out or overwhelmed. Perhaps you really feel uninspired, so what’s the point of doing anything? It’s bound to be a flop.
- Stay in one place as long as possible. Don’t get up and move around, that might stimulate your energy levels and horrors . . . You may be ready to start work. Vegetate in a comfortable place, preferably with your computer, or sitting in front of the T.V. (If you choose the latter, don’t forget to have the remote in your hand.)
- Avoid thinking deadlines. This is important. You don’t want to add pressure to your relaxing mind. Don’t plan when you’ll get started or when you’ll stop. Just chill! There’s no hurry, remember?
- Think of all the things you will achieve by procrastinating. You won’t be criticised for what you’ve done. You won’t get nasty feedback on your blog, nor will you get bad reviews on the book you haven’t finished.
- Avoid programmes and software that come up with ways to remove distractions. For example. Scrivener has an option to switch to “full-screen, with only your writing surface in front of you. So has WordPress if you use this to build your blog or website. Cold Turkey has a free option that provides features to block an unlimited number of websites. It even has a timer that will keep you offline until the time you set it to allow you back.
- Follow links that interest you immediately, lest you forget. (Have you checked out the two under #13 yet?)
- Keep hydrated by making frequent trips to the fridge. Don’t simplify this with a jug and glass next to your computer. Exercise is important.
- Take frequent snack breaks and don’t miss meals. We all know how important nutrition is.
- Don’t ever switch off your Internet connection. You wouldn’t be able to research or check your facts.
- Remember to switch off your answering machine. A family member may need to speak to you urgently, or there may be a friend who needs to chat.
- Play music in the background, but choose songs you can sing to or that make you sleepy. Avoid the classics, like Mozart, as they are purported to encourage creativity.
- Draw up a grocery list for the next time you go to the shops. You may even like to pop out to the shops once you’ve finished the list and stock your cupboards. That will save you time when you do get around to working.
- Do some cleaning that you put off until the new year. How about the garage? Or tidying a cupboard? This of course is especially for the writers among you. If you’re a housewife, disregard this point.
- As a writer, you might prefer to clean out your inbox, being careful to check you don’t delete anything important. Check each email before you send it to trash.
- Think of all the things that could go wrong. If you’re a writer, you may find someone who has already written an article on the same topic, only it’s likely to be better than yours. You could finish your book and no one wants to buy it.
- Look for, or better still create, the perfect image for the post you’re about to begin. Graphics are an important part of any article.
- Create an infographic on your topic. Never done one? It’s never too late to learn, and this will prove a real draw to your blog, website, or Facebook.
- If you’re bored with the topic you’re writing on, stop. Start something new. The more projects on the go, the more reasons you will have to procrastinate.
- Accept that you’re really too old, too inexperienced, too ignorant, too incompetent . . . to write that book or tackle that task.
Final Thoughts on Why we Procrastinate
If you want to be a writer, you have to write. That is the only way you will ever have a post to publish on your blog. It is the only way you will see your name on the cover of a book. It is the only way your message will get out to those who need to hear from you.
If you go back through this list, you will see not one of them is a bad thing, but they keep us from our writing, or whatever other task we want to accomplish. Choose your priority (just maybe it’s to write!) and then remember . . .
Over to you . . .