"Never do today what you can
Put off till tomorrow."
William Brighty Rands (Matthew Browne) 1823- 1882 "Lilliput Levee"
PROCRASTINATE: To put off intentionally and habitually
To put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.
Before beginning this tried and proven list of procrastinations you'd better set yourself a time limit or suddenly the day will have slipped away. My general rule (providing I'm up by at least 9 a.m.) is to begin writing by 11 a.m. and try to carry on til at least 3 or 4. It doesn't always work, but if you have allowed yourself time to 'play' a little before getting down to the task, once the Muse starts speaking you might find yourself on a non-stop writing jag.
1. If you know you have writing to do, take your time getting out of bed in the morning. Make
yourself some coffee. Eventually get dressed. (Well, at least by noon!)
2. Check your e-mail while you drink your coffee. In fact, check your email at least a dozen
times a day. While you're at it, check your blog site, maybe read a few of your friend's blogs.
Perhaps even write (or plan) a new one. If you also keep a journal (on-line or written), spend
some time writing in that too.
3. Stop checking the internet and play a few games of Free Cell and Solitaire. (To be fair,
I limit myself to five games each and quit once I've won.)
4. If you don't have a computer, play a few games of Solitaire with real playing cards.
(I limit myself to ten games, or it will go on all day.)
5. In between, make a few phone calls.
6. Check your email again. If you have no new mail, write a couple to friends.
7. Play with your pet (my bird loves this attention).
8. Google yourself. You'll be amazed!
9. Wash dishes, tidy up the mess you've left from the night before.
10. Make another cup of tea/coffee and prepare something to eat.
11. Read the newspaper. Do the newspaper cross-word puzzle(s). If you're using a cross- word book, you might have to limit how many you do) This is an excellent exercise for
writers. You learn lots of neat new words!
12. Maybe you need to take the garbage out or go for a little walk or do some stretching
exercises just to get the blood flowing to the brain before you start your day's writing.
13. How about taking the dog for a walk, or change the cat box, or clean the bird's cage?
14. Tidy up the piles of papers and books in your work space. How can you think with
all that clutter? While you're at it, you might notice things need dusting.
15. Make your week's/day's grocery list. This will make you hungry so take time out for a
Okay. Enough already! Now it's time to get down to work!
That, folks, is how I've perfected the art of procrastinating. And that's why my novel still isn't finished!
Okay, I'm exaggerating. However I do allow myself a bit of time to play around before I sit down to do serious writing or editing. It's a routine that seems to work for me though some days I really have to 'force' myself to get those first few lines written. Then, once I do I find myself propelled into it soon I'm in that 'other world' oblivious to anything that's around me. (Unless of course the bird is making a nest in my hair or climbing up and down my arm as I type.)
"Procrastination is the thief of time."
Edward Young 1683-1765 "The Statesman's Creed" st 1 - 393
"It is only a moment here and a moment there that the greatest writer has."
Robert Frost 1874-1963 "Comment"