Brida Anderson

Urban Fantasy

Tag: distraction

Slipping back into frazzled working mode – Procrastination-Challenge Day 3

I’m blogging this days after the fact — due to working in “chunks”. Some days are for blogging, others for working on my non-fiction projects. Lessons learned from the Procrastination-Challenge so far. As you can see in this post.

Brida's Procrastination Challenge


 

Day 3 of the Procrastination-challenge started with meeting three other women for coffee. I’m yearning to get to know more people here in Doha (dare I say: more people who fit my tribe? ;) and I’m always happy to see other adults :-), so that was a much-needed outing.

Two lessons learned from this day for the Procrastination-Challenge:

  • I need the first morning hours for work. Starting when my brain still feels fresh and, creatively speaking, close to the landscapes of sleep/dreams.
  • Starting after 10 is too close to lunch (even if I ignore lunch and only stop working when I have to pick up my kids at 1:30); after 11 is even less productive. Even if coffee-fueled ;-)

How do you feel about that? What’s your experience today, after 3 days of No-Procrastination?

Today, I kept slipping back into my old mode of working. Just because I kept thinking “oh well, I don’t have that much time for work today anyway”. Which was just the usual bull our inner procrastinator tells us – I had ample time.
Several emails from the publishing house flew in about my Mom-Wellness-manuscript which is currently being typeset. They were urgent but not that urgent — still I repeatedly stopped what I was currently working on to answer the small questions in the emails (about spelling a certain word, layout for the index, and such).

After the third email, I never went back to focussed writing. I answered other emails, connected with new friends on Facebook, lost at least an hour commenting and reading in Facebook, researched a new blog platform for this blog, researched how to transfer the blogposts …

New emails in between, more research for silly workflow stuff, like: “how much does a full Adobe Acrobat version for the Mac cost” — because the publishing house had said that the PDF with my corrections didn’t print properly.
Does that sound familiar?

Only because I had worked for 2 days following the No-Procrastination rules, I realized for the first time how frazzled this way of working makes me feel!

You do accomplish a lot of different tasks in one day and manage to get all the urgent, niggly stuff off your desk. But there is no (or: not much) brain-capacity left for really working on the projects that matter. The projects that require concentration and inspiration.
Perhaps a good mix could be 2 rounds of focussed writing and then devoting one hour to such urgent but non-creative stuff each day. (Or more, if you have more hours at the office than I do.)

During the remainder of the No Procrastination-Challenge I’ll keep trying out different rhythms of focussed writing, different projects and urgent stuff to see which works best.

So many lovely things to do – on battling the Procrastination troll

How’s your battle with Procrastination going, in the 35-Day-Procrastination Challenge?

I am at that point where I got so much done on the projects on my list (thanks to writing in the flow) that my brain served up glorious ideas of WHAT ELSE I could all accomplish in that time. “You know, if it’s going so well, why don’t you do this and this and that?”

Troll Head Lost Garden's of Heligan, Cornwall by Webheathcloseup / Flickr

Is that my procrastination troll? — Troll Head Lost Garden’s of Heligan, Cornwall by Webheathcloseup / Flickr (Creative Commons)

The project-ideas actually made sense – to finally take the time to create a nonfiction backlist from my previously published books. They were published by publishing houses, edited, proofread, I have the final PDF  — so all that’s missing is “just”  formatting them as ebooks, add a cover, upload.

Then I read a post from a friend on Facebook. She did long overdue work on her blog and happily so, working in the flow for hours. Only in the evening did she realize, that it “had been the Procrastination troll whispering in her ear”. He has a knack of making distractions sound utterly important and meaningful.

... or isn't he rather looking like this? :-) -- "Internet Troll?" by Eiik Solheim

… or isn’t he rather looking like this? :-) — “Internet Troll?” by Eiik Solheim (flickr / Creative Commons)

For now, I’ve decided to stick to the Procrastination Challenge but change my list of projects, pushing the second book in the Rule of Thorns-series further back and working on two non-fiction projects, one for a publishing house (deadline in August), one for my backlist.

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