There are lots of articles available on how to stop procrastinating and get more done. I think I’ve read them all. So far, they really haven’t worked on me.
Therefore, I thought this list might help those of you who might also be like me, and can’t seem to stop procrastinating, no matter how many suggestions you get to the contrary. When you find yourself up against an important deadline, and your mind (and your productivity) kicks into underdrive, use these suggestions to help you make the most of it. It’s OK . . . You can thank me later (’cause we both know you’ll just put it off) . . .
1 ) Start 4 new projects that have nothing whatsoever to do with the deadline at hand. The adrenaline rush you get and the euphoria you experience from all these new undertakings will keep you from that deadline for at least a full day. Then when it wears off, you can always use them later as busy work when trying to procrastinate on something else. Or you can make them appear really important when trying to get out of some other undesirable task, such as doing laundry or cooking dinner.
2 ) Take a nap. Tell yourself you’re just too exhausted to keep going for even another minute, and you’ll make it short, and when you wake up and get back at it, you’ll be ever so much more productive. No one does their best work while exhausted! Under no circumstances should you define “short” ahead of time.
3 ) Run errands. You know you can find something to do if you just head into town. Make up a fake grocery list if you have to. Call the neighbor and see if you can run her errands, too, while you’re at it. After all, she’s busy working in her garden, and it’s in your best interest for it to do well, because she knows you simply don’t have time for your own garden, so you’ll be getting some of those tomatoes when they’re ripe. Visit the quilt shop for supplies you’re in dire need of for this deadline and can’t do without. Take time to browse the gift shop next door, since you’re right there, and it’ll save you an extra trip into town later. Run into several friends, and chat them up — you’ve got time.
4 ) Eat. And not just some unhealthy grab-n-go snack. You need a good healthy filling lunch, and that takes time to prepare. Just like being tired, you can’t do your best work on an empty stomach, either. A nice salad with some grilled chicken on top and homemade dressing will go a long way toward helping you be more productive once you’ve eaten and then taken time to clean up all the mess afterward. At which point, you’ll probably need another nap before you can comfortably head back to the studio with a clear conscience. Go ahead . . . you’ll make up for it in increased productivity later.
5 ) Spend some extra time on the computer. Do you realize how many blogs there are out there that you really should be reading? What if you skip one and miss THE earth-shattering post that will change your life forever? What if you don’t read every single tweet from every single Twitter user that you follow? What if you miss some important Facebook updates? And email — oh, my! The sheer amount of stress this can cause might seriously decrease your ability to work productively. You’ll be nervous and twitchy and distracted. I suggest just spending most of the day doing that important online reading, and then after your nap, you can set seriously to work with a renewed dedication, using that as your excuse to not cook dinner. Besides, you’ve already eaten, and you can’t afford another interruption . . .
. . . you have a deadline to meet!