I’ve heard it said many times before: the first step on the road to recovery is admitting you’ve got a problem. So I’ve got a confession – a dark secret that I’ve been harbouring for quite a while now. So…here goes.

My name is Riley, and I am a hard-core procrastinator. There, I said it.

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It’s true. I procrastinate on a daily basis – if not more. I browse the internet when I should be writing, I watch films when I should be working, I stare zombie-like at my phone or my laptop or whatever screen happens to be in front of me when I should be doing, well, just about anything really. What’s odd though, is I procrastinate as a way of avoiding things that I actually want to do. It’s like there is some tiny part of my brain that secretly doesn’t want me to be happy and so distracts me at every opportunity. Perhaps there are little creatures living inside my head, pushing that ‘why not have a quick look at Facebook?’ button, or pulling the ‘you know what you haven’t done for a while? Alphabetise your books!’ lever.

But no, that’s just an excuse really. I can’t blame Bill and Fred (the creatures inside my head. Yes I’ve just named them. They are my new friends). I can only blame me. Be it a lack of drive, a lack of discipline, a lack of energy – whatever it is, procrastination happens and I’m ready for it to stop. I’m ready to join Procrastinators Anonymous, I’m ready to start my own 12-step programme, I’m ready to recover.

It’s funny. When I started writing this post, I had planned on writing in defence of procrastination – on why procrastination can sometimes be a good thing but do you know what? That’s my problem talking. I had planned on explaining how sometimes, everyone needs a break and that perhaps, procrastination is my way of taking a break and yeah, maybe that’s a contributing factor. I probably do procrastinate because I’m tired, but that’s no excuse. If I’m tired and want a break, I should just take a break – not pretend I’m doing something only to realise that I’ve been reading Buzzfeed posts for the last thirty minutes!

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It’s all part, I suppose, of being true to yourself. Tonight, I don’t feel like writing a thing and so, instead of saying “I’m going to write so-and-so, right after I’ve read my emails through and caught up with Twitter,” I’m going to say “I don’t feel like writing tonight, and that’s okay. Instead, I’m going to take a break and read a book”. Ultimately, I’ll have a more enjoyable evening and will actually be more productive – because procrastination never works.

So I’ve admitted I’ve got a problem. I’ve even worked out why. The only thing left to do is to come up with some viable solutions to avoid procrastination in the future, so that’s what I’m going to do tonight. A personal reward scheme? Sounds good. Scheduling in regular breaks? Probably a good idea. Making a to-do list and prioritising them? Great! I’ll get straight to it…right after I check Facebook, of course…

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8 thoughts on “Friday Feels…Brave: Admitting I’ve Got a Problem

  1. This is a common problem. Just the other day I saw a Facebook post where someone was complaining about not getting anything done. It was paired with a picture of Dory from Finding Nemo saying something like, “Ooh, Facebook!” Lol.

    Here is a little blog post from Robert Evenhouse from earlier today. It’s also about time management, a little reality check: http://parttimenovel.com/2015/10/30/what-you-jane-austen-charles-dickens-and-edgar-allan-poe-have-in-common/

    The challenge is to log off Facebook and avoid that temptation, at least until you’ve got one straight hour of writing done. Then reward yourself by indulging in these distractions, but set a time limit. That’s my advice. Now if I can just follow my own advice, I’ll have it made. 😉

  2. I’ve been thinking about turning the wifi off on my laptop while I write. If there is something I need to research for my piece I’ll put a gigantic note and then come back to it later.

    1. That’s a great idea.

      I added an extension to Google Chrome called Procrastinator – with it, you can block certain websites (e.g. I’ve blocked FB, Twitter, gmail etc.) and it works great for a while but then I just end up pausing it so that I can ‘have a quick look and then get back to work’ lol!

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