A Few Words on Procrastination

I ran a post similar to this one over three years ago, but evidently I haven't learned a thing and I needed to revisit the topic. I figure I'm not alone. 

Dawdling, postponing, stalling, dabbling, delaying, dilly-dallying, loitering, frittering, playing, frivoling, idling, loafing. They all mean the same thing: to put off. I am good at it. Too good, I fear.

And when I am questioned about my progress (the project matters not—it could be anything from making a grocery list to editing my next novel), I have perfected the hemming and hawing answer that is sure to baffle the interrogator into a frustrated fit (90% of the time the interrogator is my husband who has learned over the years that it's safer not to do too much questioning unless he wants to end up walking away, scratching his head, and muttering, "What the heck did she just say?"). 

Not long ago, I was interviewed by an editor of a popular romance novel review magazine and I told the woman, "There's nothing better than being your own boss." And here I sit this morning, blogging, reading e-mail and tweets, checking Facebook, pacing from window to window, nibbling on a granola bar, doing anything and everything besides what I should be doing: starting the next chapter of my book. One negative about being your own boss is that there's no one to light a fire under you when there's work to be done.

Here's my best advice regarding procrastination:

·        Just do it!
·        Break larger tasks into smaller ones.
·        Complete the most difficult task first.
·        Reward yourself when the job is complete.

Now THERE'S advice everyone should follow, right? Are you a procrastinator? What do you find is your biggest distraction? And what's your best piece of advice for me…er, ah, people who procrastinate?


BooksAndPals said...

Maybe we should start a procrastinator help group. Let's talk about it in a few weeks. :)

?wazithinkin said...

Hey, Donna! Sit your butt down in that chair and get busy on that next book! I am waiting...

Your books are one thing I do NOT procrastinate about reading.

Michele Mathews said...

I am bad at procrastinating, but yet my dream is to be my own boss someday very soon.