everyone, inspiration, life, procrastination, projects

The Path of Least Resistance

Okay, I woke up later than I meant to, so this is going to be short and sweet.

Sometimes in life you might find yourself in a situation where you have countless projects to complete, and a limited window of time in which to do them. For example, every morning I like to:

  • Write a new blog
  • Submit one of my stories to 10 websites for reviews
  • Format at least 5 pages of a poetry collection for Amazon

However, today I don’t have enough time to do all these, so how do I decide which one to do?

That’s easy: whichever comes naturally.

If a project feels like a grind, then I stop doing it. Why? Because if I don’t, then I know I will keep thinking to myself, “Man, this is a drag. I really don’t want to do this right now. There are so many other things I need to get done.” These thoughts will slow me down, not just because of the time I waste thinking them, but they will actually make me take longer to complete the task that I don’t feel like doing.

This isn’t just a writer’s problem. You might have several DIY projects you want to do around the house: put up new shelves, rearrange the living room, organize a closet better, and so on.

My advice still applies. Pick the the project that feels like fun (or the closest thing to it) and do that first.

everyone, inspiration, life, procrastination, scheduling

How Do I Cram It All In?

A lot of people praise me for how much I get done in a day. To me it’s no big feat because, after all, I just do it. However, I feel like maybe I should describe it to give some insight. Let’s say I want to do the following in a day:

  • Format a 30-page poetry collection so it appears to my liking on Amazon
  • Do 30 minutes of martial arts practice
  • Do a 50-minute cardio workout
  • Submit a novel to some book reviewer bloggers
  • Write a new blog on my author site *wink*

Let’s take this one item at a time.

FORMATTING POETRY: 30 pages. The work week is five days. (I base my approach on the work week because my kids come over on weekends, so I don’t even TOUCH this stuff.) Therefore, if I format 6 pages per day, I’d complete that collection by Friday.

MARTIAL ART PRACTICE: Nothing says I HAVE to do it all at once. I fit it into my day whenever I can, making sure to keep track of it in a log so I know I get 30 minutes.

CARDIO WORKOUT: Again, you don’t have to have a solid 50-minute block. I do it on my breaks and lunch at work. Fortunately, I have the kind of job where I can get away with that. I know not everyone has that luxury, but I can’t speak for what kind of job others have; I’m just trying to show how I personally get things done.

SUBMIT A NOVEL FOR REVIEW: I have a list of 630 websites that accept book review submissions. 630 is just too much to think about at once, so you know what I do? I submit to just 10 per day! MUCH easier to handle.

NEW BLOG ON AUTHOR SITE: Okay, I have to be honest that I screwed up on this item today. My usual approach is to write the blog BEFORE engaging in anything else. Today, I did the formatting and submitting first. Oops! Well, no one is perfect.

Now I have exposed my secret: breaking tasks down into manageable chunks.

I hope this serves as inspiration to anyone who struggles with procrastination.

 

~~~Steve