Today, we ask ourselves, how do we procrastinate when we should be doing those things we really should be doing (i.e., WRITING)? And there are oh, so many creative ways to do so…
I create extensive to-do lists. I have so many, mostly out of date: This Week, Last Week/Month, Word Count Progress July 2018, Emails I Don’t Wanna Write, Non-WIP Story Ideas, Random Stuff. I love to go back to previous lists and either cross things off or add them to the current week. Fresh start! Amazing how sometimes you realize you don’t need to do something so you can delete it. I also especially enjoy that tiny thrill of accomplishment from crossing out some random task I finished ages ago and completely forgot about. On the housework front, I might wash the dishes with extra Dawn to create giant soap bubbles so I can pop them. Oh, and I have also been known to use the Phone a Chick Lifeline, where I sniffle about how I can’t get any writing done.
Like the rest of the planet, I procrastinate via the internet. Honestly, it’s like an addiction. But I also procrastinate with crafts when I can. I love doing needlepoint. Recently, I got on a kick where I made mask chains, a super useful procrastination. The one thing I will never do procrastination-wise is clean. I write INSTEAD of cleaning. That’s how much I hate it. You remember the old joke about exercising? It went, whenever I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down until it goes away. To paraphrase… whenever I feel the urge to clean, I write until it goes away. Although I did tackle some long-lingering projects thanks to excessive pandemic downtime. My supply closet hasn’t looked this good since we moved into our house 23 years ago.
But I also believe in productive procrastination. I wrote a whole post about it for Career Authors. https://careerauthors.com/productive-procrastination/. Sometimes stepping away from a project is the only way to make room for those unexpected bursts of creativity that will help you move it forward. Which is why “picking up dog poo” makes my list of productive procrastination.
How don’t I procrastinate might be the better question. The fastest way to get our house cleaned is for me to have a deadline looming, for only then will I have an urgent need to dust, vacuum, scrub the sink, and clean the grout in the shower. After which I will have the sudden need to prepare dinner, walk the dog, call my sister, and weed the garden.
Oh yeah, and there’s always that junk drawer that is in desperate need of organization right this minute… It’s a wonder I ever get any writing done, to tell the truth.
I have a zillion foibles, but procrastination isn’t really one of them. I’m in the camp that believes the stress of not doing something is way worse than actually doing the thing. Although, I don’t know if it really counts as procrastination, but before I can tackle some big job, I try to get a bunch of little jobs out of the way first. Like if it’s a writing day, I always try to get to my desk by 9am. But if I’m there at 8:30, I won’t be able to concentrate until I use that 30 minutes crossing easy stuff off my list—brushing Nala; deleting, er, reading emails; clipping my nails; paying bills; putting dishes in the dishwasher; adding my bit to our Chick Chats. As I reread that, it sounds completely wacko. Why not just start writing, Becky??
Procrastination is synonymous for social media in my life. I also like getting distracted by things outside my window. Oh, is that a squirrel scurrying off with a nut? Or a lizard doing push-ups?
Like El, I will never procrastinate by cleaning. Procrasti-baking on the other hand? Count me in!
I even veer off course through other people’s distractions. A few days ago, my kids were looking through yearbooks. Theirs, not mine. I stopped to join in the fun anyway.
Also, I enjoy hitting that refresh button on my email, imagining it’s some sort of digital slot machine, and I’ll win big soon. Ooh, a new email! Spam? Well, it still could be interesting…
Readers: How do you procrastinate?