I don’t know about you, but it’s usually the things that I want to do the least that I put off for the longest time in both my professional and my personal life until I have no choice but to get the task completed. It’s something that I have struggled and failed with for a long time. Until very recently my ability to procrastinate was the stuff that legends are made off, I almost wore it as a badge of honour. Then, on a ‘Planning and Delegation’ workshop that I was taking as part of a Management Course I learnt some new skills to help me address this weakness.
Now, I’ve got to be honest with you I’m not the sort of person that holds much sway with management talk and ‘blue-sky thinking’, such jargon generally makes my skin crawl. However, one interesting approach I learnt about on the workshop was that to plan your time more effectively you should eat more frogs. So what does that mean?
Well, it’s a natural human reaction that we often put off the things that are difficult or that we don’t want to do. Who wants to be in an uncomfortable place or doing something that takes them out of their comfort zone? So we tend to put off those things until we have no choice but to complete them. These are your big fat juicy frogs and by putting them off you’re simply delaying getting them done and out of the way. So rather than delay, eat that frog (or frogs) first and once they are out of the way, you’ll feel energised and empowered that the worst has already been completed and that goal achieved.
I think writing can be like that. Editing, marketing, sending off query letters, even the act of writing itself can make some writers writhe in discomfort, so instead they go do something that they’re more comfortable with. Networking is my procrastination destination and it has cost me hours of time that I could have used more productively. Sure It’s important to meet other writers, to build up your online profile as a writer but not at the cost of doing the actual writing, editing, plot planning itself. If these are you frogs then pucker up, ball up your courage and eat more of them.
Whether you are writing, carrying out a project, or simply putting off a chore that you know needs doing, eat that frog. In fact, eat more frogs and once you have you’ll find that the energy you would normally use procrastinating can be used to be more effective and efficient.