Sunday, January 1, 2012

Procrastination and Timers


I've given myself fifteen minutes to write this world today.

Why? Because I have been procrastinating all day. Procrastination happens when you are
A) Overwhelmed with too many things and need to get away.
B) Overwhelmed because of being afraid to do something wrong.

Because this is such a public challenge, with a ton of opportunities for people to look at what I've written and think… "WHY THIS?", it's got a lot of pressure.

Today's procrastination is Type B. I feel guilty about not working, but I can't bring myself to. When procrastination is Type A, I revel in it. I enjoy myself. I don't care at all about whether or not I'm procrastinating. Afterwards, I get back to reality and start working calmly and organizedly.

But with WYW… it's complicated, finding something to write about every day. It's harder finding something that could be considered 'the world.' It's really hard trying to filter through things, figuring out what really counts as 'observation' and what counts as 'rambling.' I try not to include rambling posts. I failed the first day of 2012— I bet I'm rambling here.

But failure is good… it allows me to get January 1st, 2012's WYW crossed off my to-do list. It allows me to relax a bit and ramble on about princes and pirates in the NaNo'09 rewrite.

But procrastination is not all good. Procrastination has ruined many a day of mine because when I don't do something… I tack it on to the next day. And the next. And the next. Sometimes this works. Sometimes I have a fiesta day of work and basically do a ton of stuff. Sometimes, though, it doesn't work that way.

When I get to that point… where time is running out and I have lots of other things to do… I prioritize. WYW is important, but it doesn't need to be perfect. The sheer volume of the words I need for this for a year means that one bad post will not bring down the entire blog. But on the other hand, not writing a good chapter for one of my stories means that the entire story will fall down. At least for me. So I set a timer on the thing I can easily fix later (like observing things), or that I won't need to fix, however crappy they come out, because hey, I'm observing! I can observe even procrastination! Which is a lovely thought. I can ramble about something I hate and get credit for it.

But, a bit of advice.

To stop procrastinating:
1) Prioritize and decide what can be done easiest and quickest with a minimum of backlash.
2) Shut off the inner editor, ie, stop caring how pretty it looks/sounds.
3) Set a timer for 10-30 minutes. Anything that sucks can be done in 10-30 minutes.
4) Work uninterruptedly until the timer goes off.

And… I've still got 6 minutes to fix up this post. Who said timers don't work?

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