Hi, my name is Alex and I’m a procrastinator. (The first step is admitting that you have a problem, right?)
One of the perks of being a web-based professional is the infinite flexibility it provides- I can essentially do anything I want, precisely when I want to do it. It doesn’t get much better than that, right? Right. Well.. unless you’re a serial procrastinator such as myself. Procrastinating can be both fruitful(hello organizing kitchen, taking the dogs out, poking around Pinterest, etc.) and a terribly inefficient use of time(..hello organizing kitchen, taking the dogs out, poking around Pinterest, etc.). Recognizing these things gives you, fellow web-based professional procrastinator, a great advantage though! You can plan ahead!
Lists are an absolute must. Though I am web-based, I rely heavily on hand writing my to-do lists. There’s something about hand writing my tasks that both commits them to memory and verifies their importance. For this, my handy little Moleskine. I should say, too, that having one notebook that is for to-do lists and to-do lists only have proven beneficial for me because I won’t get lost in sketches and doodles in the process of getting sh*t done.
Routinize Your Day
Another absolute must, in my opinion. While I LOVE the ability to do as I please, when it comes to the bulk of my day-to-day activity I resort to a routine. This does two things for me:
1. It keeps me on task and on time.
2. It allows me scheduled time to do the things I would typically do while procrastinating!
My Daily Routine:
- 6:45am Wake up, run.
- 7:45am Shower, then breakfast
- 8:30am Read my daily reads(I’ve set all of these to bookmark tabs in my browser to prevent having to hunt them down), catch up on the Twitter-verse.
- 9:00am to 11:00am Work! During this time I work to complete the most important to-do’s of the day marked off my list. Marking these off first both alleviates the dread of knowing they are still to-do and motivates me to complete the less important tasks.
- Noon to 2:00pm EXPLORE! This is my time to do whatever I please. Sometimes I continue working, sometimes I read, sometimes I make a particularly exciting lunch. Oh, the perks of freelancing.
- 2:00 to 5:00pm Continue marking off those pesky to-dos until they are to-done(..how could I resist?)!
Calendars Are Your Friend!
Being a visual person, it’s of utmost importance for me to be able to “see” my day, week, month, etc. I’ve tried a lot of different apps for this, but to be perfectly honest, none of been as quick and easy as good ol’ iCal. After consulting with clients, I send them my contract to be signed and an invoice for the initial payment. Once I receive the signed contract and initial payment I mark that date as the start date of the project in iCal and extend the end-time through whatever date my client and I have agreed on as completion date. (*TIP* Marking yourself as “Busy All Day” leaves a solid line from start date to finish, which is a perfect visual reminder.)
So there you have it, fellow Procrastinators. Be fruitful. Be productive. And procrastinate.