Procrastination – The Alt-Tab Junk Food of Writers
I love to procrastinate. I’m damn good at it, too. There’s just something about doing the pithy things of life that make you feel like you’re doing something when actually you aren’t doing a damn thing at all.
To procrastinate I utilise the following tools:
Blogger – either creating or just checking comments and site stats (I know, right?)
Those four are the main offenders, though sometimes I’ll check out SMH for REAL news, or use Facebook. I’m not a massive Facebook person though, I must admit.
But those four tools are more than enough to sink in plenty of time. The Google utilities especially will show a little number on the tab if there’s something new for you to check out. It’s like procrastination crack. And I can’t get enough.
It was only today I truly realised, or admitted to myself, what all this Alt-Tab procrastination is – it’s the junk food to my writing soul. It’s easy to do, hell, it’s even fun at the time. But it’s not good for me. And afterwards I generally feel worse. I spend time procrastinating on the computer and when I walk away and realise I haven’t done anything I feel like a heel.
So, it has to end now.
I am officially setting some internal changes to occur and I’m not buying programs that lock me from the Web or anything like that. I’d like to treat myself as an adult and actually make the change from within. I’m going to trust myself to be good enough to do this.
Here are the conditions:
- I will check email whenever it pops up because, honestly, it could be important. Leave it open and roll with it, that’s fine.
- I will not check Google Reader every time a new number shows I have articles to read. I will get work done first…and how will I know I have work to do?
- I will create lists to stick on my computer. All writing items will go on the list and items can be scratched off when they are completed. That way, I get to see what I have to do but I also get the satisfaction of crossing them off and seeing my achievements rack up on the tiny yellow post it.
- I will minise the impulsive compulsion I have to Alt-Tab across to Twitter. I don’t want to have to keep it closed, I want to treat it like an adult. I can check it out after I’ve written something. Not finished it, but when my brain needs a pause to think of the next word/sentence/point.
- I will check site stats once a day. This one will be hard because I just love stats. And I love trends in stats and I get plenty of that.
- I will actively look at my list and ask myself what I can be working on at that moment. I will stay focused, no tricking myself into thinking I don’t have anything to work on, there’s always stuff to work on.
- I will work on the big stuff first. Prioritise.
Here’s hoping, people. My time is thin enough as it is so I have to start using it wickedly wisely. That time starts now. I think I can do it.
Hell, I’ve actually been doing it for the past week and my comic pitch document thanks me for it.
I just need to think about this like I do working out or eating healthy, sometimes it’s hard, there’s always temptation, but I always, ALWAYS, feel better after making the right choices. I know if I knuckle down and just write (because that’s what writers do and that’s all it takes to write) then I will feel better after every session at the computer.
Now, the only problem was that writing this post wasn’t on my list. I better go open that pitch document now and get my sanding paper out, it’s time to polish.
Posted on April 13th, 2011 by ryan
Filed under: Writing