Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Day 2: The Procrastinator's Self-Delusion

Procrastinators are living in a delusion.  We have some kind of skewed view of time.  We believe time is bigger than it is.  We somehow convince ourselves that whatever we need to do can be started later.

"I've got time," we tell ourselves, while we take "just five minutes" to do something non-important or even downright detrimental to our lives.  We get lost in the vortex of interesting links on the internet, whether they come from friends on Facebook, pretty pictures on Pinterest, or even valuable email newsletters that we signed up for to help us get a handle on our lives.  All of it is unimportant.

As well-written as an article about the craft of writing is, it still won't help me become a better writer as much as sitting down to actually write 500 words would.

A parenting article or a board full of housekeeping tips won't help me maintain my sanity when it's 5:00PM, I haven't started supper, and the house looks worse than it did yesterday.

I need to realise the value of time.  The 9-or-so hours I have at home with the kids can seem endless at 8:00AM.  I always start the day with a vague idea of how I'm going to spend it.  In general, Monday is for cleaning, Tuesday is for errands, Wednesday is for work, Thursday is for fun (although those two are switched more often than not), and Friday is for DIY/creative projects.  And on all of those days, I need to edit.

The first thing I need to do is have a start time.  And somehow (???!) hold myself to it.  With an out-of-the-house job, an employee needs to begin working at a specific time.  My work is no different.

The second thing I need to do is, except for my work day, stay FAR away from the computer in the morning until my work for the day is done.  In my ideal world, which exists only in my mind so far, I will complete the housekeeping tasks, preschool work with my son, etc, by lunch time so that I can do my editing and writing work in the afternoons while he naps.  I would say I'll try that tomorrow...but tomorrow is my work day.  I am blessed to have a friend living close by to swap childcare with.  My son will spend the day at her house tomorrow, and I'll take hers one day next week.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...we've all heard that maxim.  But in my life, all play and no work results in carpeted stairs that haven't been vacuumed in who-knows-how-long and the stress of trying to meet my deadlines after weeks of putting things off.

I'm determined not to live that cycle any more.  But how do I make myself work?  I'll talk more about that tomorrow.  In the meantime, please share your strategies for getting stuff done.

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