Brida Anderson

Urban Fantasy

Tag: get things done

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.

Day 1 — Go for it! (Procrastination Challenge)

Day 1 of the Procrastination challenge means: taking stock so you can apply the rules (for rules, see The Procrastination Challenge: Day 0).
Take a deep breath and check: What’s on your desk? (literally and metaphorically speaking)

Brida's Procrastination Challenge
Pile it all up, favorite  projects and “grrr, must do this” alike.
Focus on the “creative” projects in your given field. What you always wish you had more time and calm for.

Non-creative projects like inbox-cleaning, bill-paying and such are also better done in bulk, but you can do them anytime, not especially in your precious full-concentration-no-procrastination hour/s.

What’s important? What brings you closer to your goal or dream?

Use helpful tools like Leonie’s Amazing Year-Planner (“Create your Amazing Year”, there’s a biz and life edition), Getting Things Done or whichever speaks to you most to hone your list of Most Important Tasks.

Whittle it down to two or three tasks you will focus on for this week/this month. Make a list.

Two projects for my 3 rounds of no-procrastination

Day 1 sees me picking two projects from the list: Writing on my current non-fiction project “Finding Calm inside Myself” (deadline is end of August, but there’s school vacation for all of August, so the deadline for me is end of July).

And reworking my entry for the Aetherpunk Western anthology (“For a fistful of Feathers”). I got detailed feedback from critique partners and the next round of critiquers is waiting for the improved version of the story.
What are your two or three projects you’ll tackle in today’s 3 rounds of no-procrastination writing?
So, setting the timer for the first (and longest) round of 50 minutes and off we go. (For “rules” see The Procrastination Challenge: Day 0.)
See you on the other side.

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