I won’t lie. I procrastinate.
But I think it’s more than that. I could earn an Olympic medal in procrastination. I’m like the greatest procrastinator in the world.
It’s definitely not something I brag about; in fact it’s the only thing I truly hate about myself. Maybe “hate” is too strong of a word, but it’s such a terrible personality flaw and I’m ashamed at how bad it’s gotten in the last few years.
I know I work on writing stuff
nearly every day, but I’ve still got a folder full of unfinished short stories, partial synopses, an novel that needs a final revision, and a list of anthologies I meant to writing something to submit before the closing date (but never did) and a couple more episodes to the podcast to upload the YouTube channel.
My work inbox is full. Embarrassingly full. My Gmail is worse. And my to-do list at work would make you cringe. Our kids need their second dental appointments for the year (as do I), our bathroom renovation has been an absolute nightmare, and nothing we try can get the roofing company to come back and finish the job. Also, the grass is getting long again.
I suppose if I wanted to, I could blame my commute, the kids, or maybe even good old fashioned laziness. But I think the heart of the problem is simply that we’ve just got a lot going on.
The solution should really be as simple:
Set priorities and use deadlines.
So now I’m taking a public pledge to fix this. I already know that it works. Take this blog for example. When I decided to get serious and work toward my writing goals, it was something I couldn’t procrastinate about. Regardless of how far behind I feel, I either worked on something or I didn’t.
That also has a built-in deadline. To do something every day, I have a firm deadline of midnight. So I have no choice but to get something done. Sometimes it’s not easy, but other times the words just fly out.
And I can honestly say that with the exception of taking a couple of days off when our third child was born last year, I haven’t take any other days off from doing at least one writing-related thing in over two years. So maybe I’m not the grand procrastinator I think I am, at least when it comes to writing.
But writing isn’t necessarily real life…
The thing I need to do is apply this to the other aspects of my life; the ones I’m really procrastinating about. For example, I’ll go to work tomorrow and pull out that ugly to-do list. I’ll try ordering everything by priority and then putting a deadline by each one.
It’s a start, right?
And the most important thing I’ll do tomorrow is stop saying “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
And, yes, I see the irony of that statement. But I really do mean it.
If you’re struggling with procrastination and have some helpful tips, please leave a comment and let us all know what works for you.