Today Is the Day I Didn’t Procrastinate

It’s a little after 2 p.m. in Los Angeles. I’m at my desk, inside the office in my apartment and listening to Suede. This is the last task on my to-do list for today. “Write a blog post.” I’m trying to force myself to write something everyday and put it online, even if it’s in a spot where only a couple will read it.

I read a great post on the Freelancer’s Union blog today. It’s called “Five Tips for Preventing Procrastination.” I needed to read this. I have procrastination issues.

This probably isn’t the sort of thing I should admit on a website that I intend to use to try and convince people to hire me. I procrastinate. If I were the only person on the planet to do this, there wouldn’t be so many “stop procrastinating” articles out in the world. I also recognize that I have one of the issues mentioned in the blog post, I’ll put off projects because I don’t think I’ll be able to complete them perfectly on the first shot. I’m trying to change that.

This morning, I made a to-do list. I completed the first two tasks before 8 a.m., the third before 10 a.m. and the fourth before noon. I grabbed lunch, watched some South Park, and finished the fifth task by 1 p.m. Then I ran some errands and came back to write this. Considering that one of those tasks was a pretty beefy pitch letter and the other was a transcription, I think that’s efficient work.

I tend to work at my best when I have a lot of work. There’s no procrastinating when you have four stories due on one day. Right now, though, work is slow, as is often the case for me at this time of year. With less work, comes more of an urge to put off work.

To keep myself in check, I work with both old and new school methods. I write down an actual pen-and-paper list and check off items as I finish them. I also tweet out my progress while I finish stuff. That’s mostly for myself, I don’t really care if people find it uninteresting. It’s my way of forcing myself to actually do something.  In this case, it worked really well. I finished early, far earlier than expected. That gives me more time to compile items for my idea file and work on a revision of Chapter 2 of Los Animales.  This is progress.