Just a Minute…

Last week I dealt with the “write” aspect of this blog, this week I want to look at the “now” part.  I could probably win the “Procrastinator of the Year” award, at least, I could if I wasn’t too busy doing other things.  Whenever I have something that really needs to be done I can always find something else to do.  Watching a film, reading a book, playing a game on the computer, anything to avoid the task that should be in hand.  But the worst and most insidious time-stealer is list-making.


List-making is such a dangerous trap because it makes me feel as if I am doing the job. I’m planning for it, aren’t I?  Working out the best way of tackling the problem, time spent in reconnaissance and all that.  Yeah, right.  What I’m really doing is putting off the evil hour when I have to get up off of my broadening backside and set to the actual work.  I can spend so many hours creating beautifully detailed plans that the day just melts away.


Then there are the little jobs, the tiny tasks that won’t take a moment and really need to be done and then I’ll get on with the job I meant to do today, I really will.  But first I’ll just … and suddenly the deadline has passed in a flurry of small unnecessary delays, things that only take a minute.


I’m gradually getting a hold over my procrastination habit – for example it has only been two days between deciding to write this post and actually sitting down to write it.  I have some projects that are still in note form after more than two years.  The tricky bit is maintaining the momentum – to avoid the feeling that success here means I can take it easy for the rest of the day.  I know that if I could write four or five hundred words every day I could get the first draft of a novel finished within a matter of months.  It would need a lot of editing, but there would at least be something to edit!  I don’t pretend that I can achieve this from a standing start, but five hundred words a week is a step in the right direction.  This blog will hopefully get me as good at action as I am now at procrastination.  Hopefully.


Are you a procrastinator?  Are you perhaps a reformed procrastinator?  What are your tips and tricks for saving (or wasting) time?  Leave a comment, please.  Don’t plan to leave a comment, don’t make a mental note to leave a comment, don’t say “I’ll just …”.  Just leave a comment!  I promise to read it without delay, just so long as I have got all my jobs done first.  Speaking of which, I’ve got to go.  Work and study beckon, unfortunately.


Link of the week:

BBC Ouch!


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