Today, I piddled around with journaling, reading blogs, watering flowers, some marketing…all the while “getting ready” to write. But by noon, I hadn’t written Word One.
There was no real reason for me to be unfocused. I felt fine, ate a healthy breakfast, had a lovely phone chat with my preschool granddaughter about our thunderstorm, cleaned the kitchen and straightened the living room. I was then ready to write…but I didn’t.
When I started writing umpteen years ago, I had babies and toddlers underfoot, lived on a farm, wrote a lot, and moved at lightning speed, multi-tasking before it was a word. I had no patience at all with writers like the one I’ve become: the writing procrastinators.
Back then, I had no time to procrastinate. If I didn’t write during the hour the kids napped, I didn’t get to write. I was in my office typing within a minute of tucking in the last child. No time to waste!
No need to rush about so much now; hence, the problem. So what to do? Thankfully, I’m an avid collector of writing and writing-related books. I knew there was an answer to my problem somewhere on my shelves. And there was!
I pulled out a promising title: The 60 Second Procrastinator: Sixty Solid Techniques to Jump-Start Any Project and Get Your Life in Gear! by Jeff Davidson. The back of the book claims that “you can bust procrastination in one minute flat!” It’s a little book, but judging by the turned-down corners and the colored sticky tabs poking out from its pages, it is full of great ideas I’ve used in the past!
The author says “procrastination is a nasty habit and facilitated by distractions.” No argument there! Mr. Davidson also says: “Whenever you let progress on lower-level tasks or projects stand in the way of higher-level tasks or projects, you are procrastinating–you got that? Procrastination…is a recurring response to all that is competing for your attention.”
Lower level tasks? Yard work, email, lunch out, my favorite mystery. Higher level tasks? Writing, marketing, researching, attending critique group. But how do we shift our priorities to those “higher level” tasks?
Tried and True
Time for some of those one-minute solutions! I turned to the first dog-eared page, then the next, then the next. I remembered these ideas! They were simple–but they worked for me.
While it was tempting to procrastinate and read all sixty of the procrastination-busting techniques, I stopped after three. I put them into practice instead. And wrote. Happily.
What about you? Do you have one “tried and true” technique you could share?