Dee S Knight is back as our Tuesday guest blogger and this time she shares with us some thoughts on procrastination…
Procrastinate: to put off till another day or time; defer; delay. A word associated with laziness or habitual dilatoriness.
Hello. My name is Dee. I am a procrastinator.
No disrespect is intended with that intro, but honestly, I do feel as though I could use a 12-step program in my personal life. When I worked I was totally fine with deadlines. But in my personal life…? I’m a mess.
I used to worry about my procrastination—I’ve had the problem since I was a child. Now I put off any concerns about not getting things done today until tomorrow. After all, anything worth spending time and emotion on today is just as worthy on another day. Besides, today I’m busy (in a matter of speaking) thinking and worrying about could have bothered me yesterday. Or last week. Why deal in mere days?
I apply the religion of procrastination to all endeavors: taxes, sending cards, making Christmas gifts. I’ve been known to send a Get Well card when the person is already better, or mail a birthday card the day before the event, even though I’d defied my own tendencies and purchased the card weeks in advance. Yes, *sigh* I’m hopeless.
I don’t think of myself as lazy. (Most of the time.) But I carry a calendar in my head that’s a bit skewed. Kind of like not setting your clock ahead at the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. I always think there’s more time, or enough, anyway. Enough time for the US Post Office to get that card from San Francisco to Virginia in a day. Plenty of days left to vacuum before guests arrive. Always another opportunity to finish writing that chapter or the book or submit work to a publisher…
So, how does this relate to my writing? Well, as I said, the problem has been with me since childhood. Homework was done Sunday night, an hour or so before bedtime. I never wrote a college term paper until a few days before it was due—and using typewriters as opposed to a word processor, that’s saying something. Deadlines I make for myself are often missed.
Today I am making a plan. I am going out to the sofa just as soon as I finish this and write it down. This plan will be things I have to do each day to keep up with my writing and social media and web updates, etc. Each item will have a little box next to it so I can check things off as I do them (because that always makes us feel so much better about ourselves and our accomplishments, right?). And I will look at this plan every day and complete it. I will. I promise.
One thing I try never to procrastinate on is saying “I love you.” Forget vacuuming, cards, or writing the next NY Times bestseller. I won’t regret those things on my deathbed. (Well, I might wish I’d written the bestseller…) But I’d hate knowing that I missed the last chance to tell my mom or aunt, brother- and sister-in-law, or (God forbid) Jack what he/she means to me. There are some things that should never be put off.
Have you ever made a writing plan? Is it a loose plan or a tight, organized one? And has it helped you overcome the dreaded procrastination? If so, please share.
Contact Dee at email@example.com.