Having said that, I do have a business to run; and one of the most detrimental qualities to an entrepreneur, is procrastinating. This is mostly because there is so much to be done as it is! You are in charge of marketing, Social Media Management, accounts & invoicing and well-everything else.
Different Kinds of Procrastination
As a writerpreneur, I find that my most common form of procrastination is reading. Gathering information about: SEO, better marketing practices, effective business practices, and so on. All these are good, but continuous reading and learning with no action is a form of procrastination.
Scheduling in Denial
I have been in denial for years about my procrastinating ways. The problem with denial though, is that, if you don’t know where you’re vulnerable, you won’t allow yourself the space to make the adjustments that will enable you to work in the best way that you can. (Click to tweet this thought).
Denial for me meant that I would develop these crazy schedules that would make me out to be a superhero with ninja powers! On a good day, I would follow the schedule and be bone tired at the end of the day; on a bad day I would reward myself for the bone-tiredness of the previous day, and end up doing very little (or nothing at all).
Scheduling in Acceptance
Once I accepted that I am indeed vulnerable to procrastinating, I set about revising my schedules, motivations, tasks, etc.
- Leave lots of Time
The main problem with my previous ninja’rific scheduling is that it worked at somebody else’s speed. Not mine. I like to take my time with things. For instance, I like to take my breakfast while seated, unrushed and thinking only about breakfast…and maybe listening to the morning news. As I was preparing my previous schedule, I didn’t take this into account because it seemed like a waste of time. This spiralled throughout the day because my rushed breakfast led to a rushed morning-writing-session, then a rushed…everything else.
With my current schedule, I don’t even check my emails before breakfast. Since this is such an important aspect to me, I take the time to just sit and eat.
I do not like to be micro-managed. It gets on my last nerve. As it turns out however, I work and write best when I micro-manage myself. From anybody else, micro-managing is stifling; but when I’m doing it for myself, I thrive.
What does this look like for me? Well, I’m glad you asked.
It means that I have lists…for everything.
- I have an unrushed schedule programmed into my phone
- I have a list of preferred menus/meals that I can choose from when it’s time to cook and I’m stumped for ideas
- I have a list of potential clients that I reach out to and/or follow up with periodically
It also means that I have…
The flip side of my procrastinating is that once I sit down at my laptop and get started on a project, it will be hours before I even look up. It may sound like a good thing because it gets the job done, but it really isn’t. Mostly because we all need breaks, in addition to which it also means that the following day I’ll have an “over-load hangover” and not be able to write or create a thing; which is no good to anybody.
I have reminders for break-times because without the reminder, I’ll just tell myself (over and over again) that I’ll take a break a little later; and then it’ll be 3 a.m. and I’ll still be seated in the same spot.
Since I started implementing these, I am working more consistently, I’m well-rested, and I have time to go to Cake City and buy a couple of cupcakes when they’re on offer. Managing myself is enabling me to reap the benefits of being a freelancer; in addition to enabling me to better work both on and in my business.
Calling all procrastinators!
What are the strategies that you find helpful?
Share in the comments section below.