Annie On Writing

February 5, 2009

Procrastination

Filed under: Writing Tips — Annie Evett @ 12:18 am
Tags: , ,

I came across this clever cartoon on you tube ( yes – whilst procrastinating from writing) I thought I’d share it with you.

While you watch it – note the habits and thought processes which are present in this ‘busy’ persons life – how much of it is in your own?

Procrastination is defined by the ever present Wikipedia as “a type of behavior which is characterized by deferment of actions or tasks to a later time”

We all have stuff that needs to be done – but how urgent is it really? If you are going to honour the time you set aside for writing – then that is what you must focus on doing – not checking your emails or playing a ‘quick’ game to unwind or to goggle a random blog to give you inspiration .

I attempt to divvy my tasks up for the day; though with small children everything must remain in a state of flexible flux and I need to just roll with whatever presents itself during the unfolding day. I am sure many of you will have seen the model of tasks – Important Urgent Tasks (which aught to take precedent over all) Unimportant Urgent tasks, Not-urgent Important tasks and Not-urgent Unimportant tasks. The things which will eat your writing time up are the non urgent and unimportant things (cleaning your desk up); rivals only by the Urgent and unimportant ones – These are the tasks (or people) who are the squeaky chair or the long phone call which have a deadline or an immediacy – but are not necessarily your area or concern, but have fronted up to your desk anyway. Of course everyones tasks will be judged differently and be dependant upon the environment and situation you find yourself in.

I have heard it said that there are variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on your project. Your choices with these variants are that you work on

1. nothing,

2. something less important, or

3. something more important.

If you choose to spend your time doing something that is more important ( and urgent) than your initial task, then arguably – that is a good type of procrastination. Procrastination too can become a habit – or be encouraged by a certain event or stimuli. I’d encourage anyone who has set goals with their writing to read this blog about Hamming and research. He suggests that before you start your day – or research -that you ask yourself three questions:

1. What are the most important problems, issues or targets within your goal?

2. Are you working on one of them?

3. Why not?

There is kind of no way round that one….

What sorts of things do you do to procrastinate? How do you justify the time you spend doing those things, rather than writing?

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2 Comments »

  1. Knowing why you procrastinate is often the first step to implementing an effective strategy to beat procrastination. Once you know the cause then you can put into place an effective strategy to beat procrastination – such as divide and conquer, pros and cons lists and rationalization to mention a few. I write more about this at:
    http://www.effective-time-management-strategies.com/procrastination.html
    All the best
    Kell

    Like

    Comment by Kell — February 5, 2009 @ 8:57 am | Reply

  2. If this weren’t so true of me, it would be hilarious. Who am I kidding. It is hilarious because it is so true of me.

    Like

    Comment by Cheryl Wright — February 8, 2009 @ 12:11 am | Reply


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