I’m a Professional
When it comes to putting off tasks until the last minute, I’m a pro. I usually break up my writing goals into smaller tasks so that I can get everything done without getting overwhelmed. I’m great at the planning process, I can make a schedule in no time. However, when it comes to actually completing the tasks, I can think about them all day and still not actually get it done because there is no immediate pressing need to.
Overall, I know that I want to be a published author and to do that I need to write, but that’s a long-term goal that doesn’t provide any instant gratification. So I put it off. Then, I put it off some more. Eventually I realize a lot of time has gone by and I start the planning process again. Time to make another schedule.
If you schedule yourself a writing task and push it off to a different time, but eventually get it done, you are an amatuer procrastinator. You actually complete the task, even though you don’t get any immediate satisfaction from it and check it off your to-do list.
If you push off a task to the next day or sometime in the near future and complete the task with minimal disruption to your day-to-day activities, you are an intermediate procrastinator. You’ll get it done, you just don’t want to do it today.
If you push tasks off indefinitely, but know they need to be done, you are a professional procrastinator. As much as you want to get it done, you want to procrastinate more. That takes skill.
Using Your Skills
Now, if you were to take your skill level of procrastinating and put that same amount of effort into actually writing, how many tasks would you get done? Sounds like a word problem from algebra class, doesn’t it?
Think about why you put off the task. What did you choose to do instead of writing? Why did you choose that activity instead? Will that activity get you any closer to your goals? What do you have to change to make yourself choose writing? These questions are a little easier to answer, huh?
If you chose to watch Netflix instead of doing your writing task, why not unplug your TV or turn off your computer while you do your task? If you chose to take a nap instead of doing your writing task, why not do your writing in a place you can’t nap?
Once you realize what the problem is, you can fix it. Use your skills wisely and take the appropriate actions to defeat procrastination. You can work your way from a professional procrastinator down to an amatuer procrastinator and eventually to not procrastinating at all! It takes work to fight against laziness, but it will pay off in the end.
A good way to administer this is to set up a short-term reward program for yourself. Create instant gratification for each task and watch your procrastination level decrease.
Dawn Zauner – Writing Expert
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