Saturday, 6 April 2013

How to Procrastinate Effectively – Advice for Writers.

You’ve had breakfast and you have the whole day ahead of you. Nice hot cup of coffee on the desk. Time to make a good start on editing that novel that’s been sitting on your hard drive for months. Step one: sit down at the computer.

Will you look at that screen! What a disgusting mess. Now, where are the wipers? What are they doing down there on the floor? Oh look, there’s that shoe that’s been missing for a few days. It’s there, under the desk. The dog must have hidden it there. Better get it out and go and put it with the other one.
Put the shoe under the bed. You haven’t made the bed. Better do that, just in case someone should happen to visit and walk through the bedroom as visitors sometimes do. There’s washing down there in the corner, too. It might be a good idea to put a load in the washing machine now. It could be raining tomorrow. You never can trust the weather forecasters who say it’s going to be fine for the next week.
The dog has dragged her bed into the garden. You can see it from the laundry window. If you leave it out, the other dog will chew it. Better go and bring it in. It needs a good shake. Better go and get something to whack it with.
Now that you're holding the broom, you may as well sweep the floor of the verandah. All that dirt is just getting tramped into the house. Move out of the way, cat! What’s the problem? Why is she yowling? Aw, poor thing, her bowl’s empty. No food nearby. Go to the pantry to get it. Now, look at that bowl. She can’t be expected to eat out of that. Take it to the laundry and give it a wash. Now you can feed her.
Back to the computer. Sit down and take a big sip of coffee. Yuk! It’s stone cold. Go back to the kitchen to make another. Those dishes in the sink really need washing. You can do them while the kettle reboils, can’t you? The stove could do with a wipe down, too.
Hot cup of coffee once more on the desk. It’s probably not worth trying to edit while you drink it. You’d have to keep stopping to pick up the cup. You haven’t checked Facebook for a while. Someone might have responded to that quip you left about blowing your nose. Check it out. Find a wonderful photo of a baby squirrel, posted by that ‘friend’ you can’t pronounce her name from Uzbekistan. Check out the link under it. Wow. Gorgeous. Now, while you’re on, it’s probably a good idea to check your emails. Yes, see, three emails from Burkina Faso; you could have missed those.
Woah! Wait a minute! How long is it since you checked your book sales? That was before breakfast. You might have had a sudden rush. Take a look. No. No sales. But make sure you check all the outlets. You never know when your book might take off in Brazil.
You haven’t quite finished your coffee. Maybe just check out that forum you posted on last night, before you start work. What! Someone disagreed with you! You’re going to have to answer that.
Hmm, that answer got a little long-winded, but it’s all writing, isn’t it? Turn off the internet now. No, wait! Better leave it on and just minimise it. Then you’ll know if anyone posts of Facebook.
Find the file you need and open it. Start to read.
Footsteps at the door. Husband pokes head around the corner. Goodness, is it lunchtime already? Go and eat. That will give you energy for editing.
Back again with another cup of coffee and a little chocolate to ease yourself into work. Oh dear. It really is hard to concentrate on editing and drinking at the same time. What else can you do?


That’s it! Write a blog post!




Julia Hones said...

This post made me laugh. (I deactivated my facebook account last year so at least facebook will not be a source of distraction!).

Kate said...

Thanks, Julia. Oh, I wish I had that much self-control! But I do like to natter, far too much!

Jeannette said...

Ha ha...but look how much discipline it took to write this post... I wandered in here by pushing "next blog" from one of mine and I am glad I did, but now please excuse, me. I must finish drinking my coffee and grab the towel that got hung in the view...I dd already make the bed.

Kate said...

Ah, now...clicking 'next blog' is one way of procrastinating that I hadn't thought of! Thanks for visiting, Jeanette!