Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Because Working On My Own At Home Is Truly Not My Forte

...and also because I apparently have no self-discipline whatsoever and am freaking myself out about that,

would someone please, please tell me that:

a) I really need to get to work on my freelance library/project manager job, just focus for an hour or so, because there is stuff that needs to get done, and

b) I really need to not panic, because it is not Too Late Already and everything can indeed get done?

The challenges of keeping both (a) and (b) in mind simultaneously are causing me to hyperventilate and guiltily procrastinate such that I am neither having any fun goofing off nor getting anything accomplished. So if you have a blog and have noticed a disproportionate number of return hits coming in rapid succession from my part of the world (and you are not Andrew Sullivan, who actually posts every hour so, so that checking compulsively actually makes some kind of sense, though it is starting to freak me out and make me wonder if Andrew Sullivan is some kind of blogging robot or maybe a conglomerate), that may be part of the reason.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why don't you spend an hour just focusing on your freelance library/program manager job? It is not too late already. You will be amazed by how much you can get done in an hour of focused time!

Promise yourself a reward at the end--any chocolat in the house? You will feel productive and totally not panicked.

Trust me on this one, okay? You can do it! As the Kindergarten teacher I worked with last year said to her kids, "Go to it, just do it, get it done and have some fun!!"

2:29 PM  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

Perhaps envision Ms Cantelmo at your heels?

Sorry. Not helpful.

What anonymous said. Close your web browser & put headphones on and then, later, you can surf & eat truffles. Or whatever.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Here is The Secret to Life, at least as far as procrastination goes:

Think of something ELSE you're supposed to get done soon. Something that is not your freelance job. Something that will reflect poorly on you and/or disappoint others if it is not done in a timely fashion. Now. Do you feel the pressure of this other task? The one you are not getting done? What can you do to distract yourself from your unbelievable inability to get this task done? God, every minute that passes makes it just that much more likely that you will never get it done....

You're suddenly overcome with desire to finish the freelance project, aren't you?

[This is the only way I ever get anything done. I hope my neurosis can work for you!]

3:03 PM  
Blogger susan said...

I think I might have something to suggest, after I get done laughing about Phantom's comment (which is not far off from my own practices sometimes!) and after I go check Andrew Sullivan again myself. He is rather addictive.

Seriously, yes, you can do it: I sometimes do 5 minute increments and work up from there.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous badgerbag said...

Just get it all out and LOOK at it. Print it, even! Whatever it is. Print the emails that tell you what it is. Lay it all out on a desk and look at it. Or tape it to a wall. If you have a wall that isn't covered in bookshelves which you probably don't. A door might work.

Contemplate it!

Then it will all become clear! And you'll actually want to do it!

6:59 PM  
Anonymous badgerbag said...

p.s. Phantom Scribbler, that is my same neurosis! It works!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Arwen said...

I love that you all have the same problems I do. And solutions. Love the solutions.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

I'm late to the party, and guessing you already got it done (or didn't, and are now panicked enough to get it done without further tricking of self into working) -- but! My anti-procrastination techniques, for future reference, are:

1) Find an interesting way to do it. Nine times out of ten, if I'm procrastinating it's because I'm bored out of my mind. That usually means I need to take a different angle on it, something silly that shouldn't even work, that will surely make everyone think I'm INSANE, and that gets me interested enough to keep going.

2) Sometimes you can't do that, like when you have to make a bunch of phone calls. Then I take them in small bunches, with breaks in between.

3) When all else fails, I bribe myself shamelessly. That's the only way I get any exercise, for example.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

What's funny is that, way back in my distant past when I apparently thought I had some shot at getting over my mad procrastination skillz, I totally used Badgerbag's trick. I taped things all over the wall and would just stare at them. It worked, too!

I guess it's a good thing I don't have to get anything done these days, because the @#^%#$% walls are completely covered in kids' artwork.

11:12 AM  

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