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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On Process and Progress (or lack thereof): That Procrastination Post I've Been Putting Off

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the Four P's of Procrastination with a promise (not one of the P's) to talk about how I'm working on overcoming it. I was on vacation and then conferencing in Texas, so the post kept getting put off. Yeah, irony. I did take notes and then lost them, but while unpacking, I found them again, so here goes...

If you'll think back (or look back), the Four P's of Procrastination were Personality, Perception of Time, Process Issues, and Perfectionism. I tried to distill the solutions into words or phrases that start with D:

1. Doing It

In working with depressed clients, I've heard so many times, "I didn't really feel like doing [some pleasurable activity], but when I did, I actually enjoyed myself." I sometimes forget that, at the end of a busy day when I'm emotionally and physically drained from work, writing is something I enjoy. Once I get into it, that is.

2. Deadlines

Before I left on vacation, I had a ton of stuff to do at work. You may have read about my realization that the need to do paperwork is actually gaseous -- it expands to fill all the time allowed. I only had so much time at work and so many things to do, so that whole time perception problem, the one where ten minutes doesn't seem like enough to get anything done, went out the window. I used every one of those minutes and was very productive.

Now I just need to figure out how to get the deadline thing going with my writing, which brings me to...

3. Death Threats

Okay, not literally. I'm thinking more about external accountability.

When I was in graduate school, I took an Adult Continuing Education creative writing class with Harriette Austin. I had to produce something, if not weekly, then every other week. It was one of the most productive writing times I've ever had. Harriette's encouragement didn't hurt, either.

Now my deadlines are mostly self-imposed, and I've found great encouragement from the #amwriting, #Writers_Life, and #writechat communities on Twitter.

4. Doucement

My mother is Belgian, and when I was eleven-ish, her oldest sister as well as my late uncle came to visit. They lived in the French-speaking part of Belgium, and my very active toddler sister's antics were greeted with concerned, "Doucement, doucement!" or "Easy, easy!"

When I'm setting goals, I tend to think big but not realistically. It's good to remind myself every once in a while that I'm only one person with 24 hours in my day, and sometimes I need to give myself a break.

The writing process is supposed to go the literal translation of Doucement, which means "sweetly." So, may all your writing go sweetly and smoothly. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the cake and wine!


  1. Great list, Carrie...

    I like your new template. It is new right? I just redid mine. Not sure if I like it though.

  2. Place looks wonderful!

    And your list is perfect thing to keep in mind, especially doucement. :)

    Thanks for the cake and the wine. Yum!

  3. This new site looks great! And, so does that cake and wine!

    Very good post about procrastination - I like the "Doucement, doucement!"

  4. Nice cake, nice site, nice words, yes, I think I'll sit just here thank you :)

    But seriously, I agree with all of those D's - I just have trouble applying the fourth to myself...

  5. Oh, devil cat with fangs! I like!

  6. Anthony, I like your new template! The blue jazzes it up nicely.

    Anne and Marisa, I've been reminding myself of "Doucement" this week. I think I may put it on a sticky note over my desk. :) Yep, Emma, it's much easier to be compassionate and understanding to others.

    Laura, I should've known you'd like that pic. :) I caught Bailey mid-yawn, and he looked right into the flash.

    Thanks for stopping by!