Monday, July 19, 2010

Ten Ways to Procrastinate

  1. Read. This is probably the best way to put off facing the work in progress. However, if you’ve completed War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged, and The Complete Works of Shakespeare, it’s probably time to address the question of what, exactly, you are trying to avoid.
  2. Blog. This is not a bad way to procrastinate. At least you are still writing. Go ahead and guess why I am putting together this post.
  3. Clean the toilets (only if you’re really, really desperate).
  4. Trim your own hair. You’ll do it once. Then you’ll realize that concentrating on the work in progress is far better than looking like you stuck your head in a wood chipper.
  5. Go for a walk. Notice that I didn’t write run. Running goes too quickly. Number of miles = depth of procrastination.
  6. Make dinner. At 7 a.m. Because maybe, just maybe the inspiration will hit about when it’s time for dinner. Prep dinner early and the writing problem is solved, even though dinner may not be very tasty.
  7. Write and answer emails. Your writer friends will understand why they hear from you three times in two hours. They’ve probably written a few emails to avoid their manuscripts, too.
  8. Go on vacation. This is serious procrastination since it requires pre-planning. No matter how much work I think that I’ll get done while away from the daily responsibilities, I get little accomplished. The “Hey, I’m vacation” attitude kicks in. Also, sand in my laptop is never a good thing.
  9. Answer the phone. When my writing is cruising, I ignore any and all ringing phones. But when it’s time to procrastinate, calls get answered. I’ve even engaged more than one telemarketer in conversation. They all hung up on me.
  10. Type I will not procrastinate, I will not procrastinate, I will not procrastinate over and over and over again until this becomes so miserable that facing the work in progress is sweet relief.

Okay, there are my tricks. Now I should get back to work.


  1. You forgot can you forget TV? It sucks time away like nothing else - I'd choose that over scrubbing toilets any day ;)

  2. Tess, you're so right! How DID I forget TV? I'm sort of encouraged by this. But also, I should probably, revise the list. : )

  3. May I add...surfing the blogosphere...and commenting on posts. ;-)

  4. Surfing the blogosphere and commenting on posts is the PERFECT way to procrastinate. That's another to add to my list. Thanks! : )