Monday, February 16, 2015

Procrastination Central



To the casual observer, my writing space looks like any other home office.

Sometimes though, it is known as Procrastination Central.

Yes, I admit, I am quite often a procrastinator.

My office is not only used for writing, it's where I facilitate online writing classes and work as bookkeeper for my husband's/son's carpentry business. So there's much happening there, with great potential for procrastination and distraction. As much as I like to get right to a task, I often circle around them, wasting time.

Can anyone relate?

After a few super crazy weeks, I felt the need to revisit my strategy. These tips should help convert Procrastination Central into Productivity Central.




1) Ignore the internet. I often compare the internet to an abyss. It's too easy to fall in and get lost. Ignoring it for a while is a must. 

2) Minimize potential interruptions.  Take care of pressing must-do items (like paying a bill), set the phone on silent, etc..  
                                                                                                                                      
3) Assemble resources. Place snacks, beverages, files, books, etc. within reach.

4) Set small goals. Break tasks into segments. Progress, even in small chunks, offers a sense of accomplishment and motivation to press forward.

5) Set the timer. This correlates with #4, and provides a catalyst for productivity. 

6) Dangle the carrot. Set mile markers and include rewards. Meet a small (or large) goal and celebrate with chocolate, a walk, or something equally fun and exciting. :)

7) Apply the principle of sowing and reaping.  Build good habits by exercising self control and perseverance. Sow discipline and determination, reap productivity.

What would you add to the list? What's the craziest thing you've ever done when procrastinating?

Happy writing,

Karen


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

31 comments :

  1. I think your tips are good ones. Reading blogs really suck away my time. I keep my blog reading to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and limit how often I visit friends who blog more than once a week to give myself more time to do what I need to do. And sometimes I don't keep Blogger up on my computer so I can't check for new blog posts.

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  2. Great tips, Karen. It is so easy to get lost on the net. #7 is my mantra, however, sometimes I cram it all into one week to meet my monthly goals. Snowing here. Good day for writing.

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  3. Ignoring the internet is a HUGE help - although it's sometimes easier said than done LOL

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  4. Good strategies. I think I will try the timer one, see if it doesn't light a fire!

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  5. Natalie,
    Thanks so much. I hesitated to post this, thinking it too simple. But I needed the reminder! :) Closing that Blogger window helps, doesn't it?

    Linda,
    Thank you. I like #7 as well, and need to work on it more. Snowing here too, so I agree - it's a good day for writing! )

    Keith,
    It is huge, and hugely hard to do! LOL But we must if we want to get anything done, right? Best wishes with it this week! :)

    Holly,
    Thank you. Working on the timer thing this week too. Cheering you on to your goal! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  6. LOL. I was just thinking how happy I am that most of my favourite bloggers are blogging less but include more quality posts. And then yours pops up. Great list, Karen. They're all spot on.

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  7. Oh yes, the internet abyss! A big distraction for me. Those are good tips. I have procrastinated to the point of forgetting about what I was needing to do and woke up during the night remembering.

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  8. Yours is the second post I've read today on strategies for time management and organization. It must be that time of year when we all start thinking about how we're going to make the most of this year. Thanks.

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  9. Just do it!
    I'm a procrastinator, which is why I force myself to do things right away. Just in case.

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  10. Hi Karen! Welcome back from your blog-break!
    I am also reading a ton about time management on other blogs, it really is a hurdle for writers. So much of our time is staring into space, digging for a memory, or just the right word... No wonder I see so many other things I could do right now, and then they'd be done! A much more immediate feeling of accomplishment.
    I like the built-in reward you mentioned. At least that should keep me on task!

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  11. Why do you think I'm reading posts today? LOL I'm procrastinating!!! But enjoying it as I do!

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  12. I love the list! I think I might need to ignore the internet for a bit - or at least in 24 hour chunks on the days that I"m not posting. :)

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  13. Joylene,
    You are so kind! I've been thinking about that lately too; many are posting less and I can really relate. You were one of my early followers and I appreciate your support over the years! :)

    Connie,
    I procrastinate some days like crazy! :) And yes I've forgotten what I started out to do too. LOL

    Lee,
    It seems it's on many minds, isn't it? Well, I guess they are timeless, no matter what time of year. :)

    Alex,
    That is probably one of the best tips! Yeah, that's what I need to do today for sure. :)

    Ceil,
    Thank you! I agree, it is a hurdle, and it's so easy to go in different directions. You are right, many times household and other chores offer a better sense of accomplishment. :)

    Terri,
    LOL - well yes, I do the same thing! :) But glad you are having a good time while doing it! All the best with your book!

    Tyrean,
    You are right - 24 hours wouldn't be the end of the world, would it? I need to do that. Thanks for the tip! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  14. I do all of these. Sometimes I use my word processor instead of computer since there's no software or internet. I've also used a timer. For big tasks, I break them into small chunks so they seem achievable.

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  15. Love your list. So true, I take on so much and completely unable to do.

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  16. Medeia,
    I think the word processor is an excellent idea. Really can help one focus on writing. You are a very productive writer! :)

    Kelly,
    Thank you! That's another good point. Sometimes we take on too much when we shouldn't. That can make us overwhelmed in a hurry! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  17. I have the same problem. I have been trying to combat it by alternating my to dos. Fun, not fun, fun, not fun, and also trying to get a shorter item off the list first or second so I start to feel accomplished. Good luck!
    ~Jess

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  18. These are great, Karen, and so true. The internet is the biggie for me. I get sidetracked, even when I'm trying to be good.

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  19. Great list, Karen. I use 4, 5, and 6 often, although I would never put chocolate and a walk in the same reward category! HA!

    I try and do my most dreaded task first, to get it out of the way. Then it's not hanging over my head like a dark cloud.

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  20. Super great list, Karen. I'm having scatter brain, thanks to this pregnancy. Of course, it's also because we're trying to get my oldest into college this fall (very much underage) and we're in a new area, establishing new doctors, new shopping routines, and desperately working to get back into a regular cleaning schedule. Oh, and having a baby for the first time in 8 years. So much to do... I suppose we have to be patient with ourselves too on occasion, eh?

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  21. Great list, Karen. And so true! Welcome back!

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  22. If I am at home, I cannot resist going to Kitchen. I think keeping some snacks within reach is a good idea ;)

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  23. I have been camped out in our living room during these ultra cold spells. I use my NEO (portable word processor) when I want to write blog posts or essays. I need to stay away from E-mail. One year I gave up Facebook for Lent. I am not always going there like I used to.

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  24. My worse time suck...Spider Solitaire. I tell myself I'm just going to play one quick game while I think about whatever I'm supposed to be doing. Yeah. Right.

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  25. Jess,
    I like that - fun, not fun - lol! :) I agree, sometimes the list itself helps you move things along. :)

    Lisa,
    I know, I get sidetracked too, all too easily. Working on that one...:) Thanks a bunch!

    Jen,
    Well, chocolate and the walk, maybe that was a bad comparison! Lol. But you get the idea. :)

    Crystal,
    You are totally allowed to have scatter brain! We need to take care of that sweet little muffin in the oven, don't we? :) Excited for you all!

    Nas,
    Thank you! Glad you liked it. :)

    Yeesi,
    There are so many things that can distract us, I know! Food can be a distraction for me too. :)

    Cecelia.
    I admire your discipline in that area. Although I am not super crazy about social media, it does present a
    big distraction! :)

    LD,
    Ha - I have never played it. But I am thinking I'd best avoid it, right? I know what that's like, just one more game...lol

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  26. Those are all great. Another is starting the day with a plan. I have used Donald Miller's day plans that includes writing down the rewards you will give yourself after completing the tasks, similar to your #6.

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  27. Lynn,
    Thank you. I was hoping my blogging gang would find them helpful! :) I will have to look into the Donald Miller plans. Thanks for the tip!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  28. Thanks for the great tips, Karen. I think I need to post these up in my writing space somehow. I definitely need to use a timer and turn off the internet more often.

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  29. Tyrean,
    You are welcome. :) yes, I need to use the timer more often too. I find that I hop online "for a few minutes" and an hour later, I'm still there. Wishing you the best with it!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  30. Number one is my biggest tool to avoid procrastinating. If I close the browsers and twitter I can get a lot done.

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  31. Patricia,
    I think you are right! The internet is one of my biggest distractions. Thanks so much for stopping by. It's great to meet you!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!