THAT OLD BUGABOO, PROCRASTINATION

 

 

 

 

Who has never procrastinated? It’s not always a bad thing, but most often, it is. Here are some ideas on how to cope:

PROCRASTINATION CAUSES AND TIPS FOR OVERCOMING:

  • Overwhelm (break the task down into small parts)
  • Task is unpleasant (hold your nose and get it done—probably best to tackle the whole thing at one time, if you can)
  • Space is too disorganized (take 15 minutes a day to deal with it)
  • Perfectionism (learn to tell yourself “good enough” when something is good enough. Being perfect is impossible)
  • Difficulty making decisions (not making a decision is a decision to keep the status quo. Is that what you really want?)

HABITS TO OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION:

  • Do your most important task first every day when your resistance is lowest. Later, it has built up because you keep thinking about it and putting it off.
  • Check in with a friend on progress (perhaps you both have a similar problem; discuss what you’ve accomplished or not)

MAKE A PLAN:

  • Use the five-minute rule. Tell yourself you’ll only work for five minutes on whatever-it-is. You can do five minutes! Usually that will be enough to make you continue
  • Schedule your day, daily
  • Try to stick to your plan as much as possible, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to everything every day
  • If you work at home, tell your family what your plan is and ask them to help you make it work
  • Learn how to get rid of distractions (that would be another post, but examples are to turn off electronic devices, close your browser, and shut the door to your office, if you have one

Here’s an example of my own plan:

DAY OF WEEK TIME OF DAY ACTIION AMOUNT OF TIME
Monday 8:45 Exercise 10 min.
9 am Current writing project 1 hour
10:30 Exercise 10 min
1:30 Marketing 1 hour
300 Exercise 10 min.
3:15 Housework 30 min
4:00 Marketing/social media 1 hour
7:00 Short story brainstorm 1 hour
8:30 Marketing 1 hour
Tuesday 8:45 Exercise 10 min.
9 am Current writing project 1 hour
10:30 Exercise 10 min
1:30 Marketing 1 hour
3:00 Exercise 10 min.
3:15 Housework 30 min
4:00 Marketing/social media 1 hour
7:00 Short story brainstorm 1 hour
8:30 Marketing 1 hour
Wednesday 8:45 Exercise 10 min.
9 am Current writing project 1 hour
10:30 Exercise 10 min.
1:30 Marketing 1 hour

Sorry about the wonky chart formatting. Can’t get rid of it, so it’s the best I can do. I think it’s good enough!
For more in-depth ideas, check out Dr. Patrick Keelan

Use action plans to achieve your resolutions in the New Year…and at any other time

And there’s Lifehack:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/29-ways-to-beat-procrastination-once-and-for-all.html

Procrastination is a problem for most of us at one time or another. Learn the reasons for yours and how best to deal with it. Good luck!

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SETTING UP YOUR WINDOWS DESKTOP

Screen shot of my desktop will not load into this post. Tried about a dozen times; no go. Anyway:

Did you know you can:

Quickly change the size of your icons?
•    Right click on an empty space on the Windows 10 desktop.
•    Select “View.”
•    Choose your size preference.
Place shortcut icons for documents, spreadsheets, and other files you’ve created onto your desktop?
•    Click Start or go to File Manager.
•    Choose Documents.
•    Browse for the document or file you want to make a desktop shortcut.
•    Right-click the name of the document, point to Send To, then click Desktop (Create shortcut).
•    A shortcut for that document or file will then appear on your desktop.
You can put things in your Start Menu so that some programs will be quickly ready to go when you choose their icons?
•    Go to your start menu.
•    Pick anything there you want to be able to get quickly from your desktop.
•    Choose pin to start menu. (I admit, this doesn’t always work for me, and I have no idea why. I think it mainly happens with programs that are not Windows programs.)
Do you know what the Task Manager can do for you and how to locate it?
•    Right click on your icon toolbar.
•    Choose Task Manager.
•    Highlight a program you want to stop running because it hung up.
•    Click on End Task.
Do you know how to uninstall programs you don’t use, especially those that do something annoying such as using pop-ups to tell you something “needed” to update them or whatever?
•    Go to your Start menu.
•    Type in Uninstall in the search bar.
•    Pick the program you want to use. (I put an icon for this function up on my desktop so I don’t have to go through all this each time)
•    Highlight the program you want to uninstall and allow the proram to do so.

Do you know that “right clicking” on things (icons, toolbars, the desktop itself) brings up menus that allow you to pick or change things so they’ll work better for you?

There are so many options, I suggest your try this yourself, especially when you want to do something in particular, but are not sure how to make it happen.

I hope this is helpful!

 

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CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY OR DO—YOU MAY END UP IN MY NEXT NOVEL

I never thought I used actual people in my short stories and novels, but a few readers claim to “recognize” someone. That always surprises me.

Then I decided to use one woman’s particular circumstances and ended up using some of her personality in the character in my novel, A Broken Life, and even her dog. She loved it. Thank goodness.

A friend gave me a tee shirt that said, “I’m A Writer. Everything you Say or Do may end up in my Novel.” Next thing I knew, people were staring at my chest, then smiling.

Anyway, finally, a stranger said, “So, I’m going to be in your next novel?”

“Yes,” I replied. “Thank you very much.”

She laughed. As she walked away, I asked, “What’s your name?”

She laughed harder. Thank goodness.

https://www.zazzle.com im_a_writer_anything_you_say_or_do_maybe_used_in_a_t_shirt-235114230802496612

This led me to a hunt for other tee shirts for writers. They’re everywhere! Amazon. Café Press. Zazzle.

“I’m a writer. What’s your superpower?

“Save a writer. Buy a book.”

“I’m a writer. (No, really.)”

“Writer’s block. When your imaginary friends won’t talk to you.”

Anyway, putting real people you know in a novel can be explosive. Pat Conway said: “When The Great Santini came out, the book roared through my family like a nuclear device. My father hated it; my grandparents hated it; my aunts and uncles hated it; my cousins who adore my father thought I was a psychopath for writing it; and rumor has it that my mother gave it to the judge in her divorce case and said, “It’s all there. Everything you need to know.”

But what Anne Lamont said should probably be on a tee shirt you wear right after a new novel or short story comes out using real people as templates: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

So there.

What I really want is the mug that says, “Go away. I’m reading.”

https://www.zazzle.com/go_away_im_reading_coffee_mug-168942890660892017

 

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MY JUNE, 2017 PICK FOR BEST PRODUCT

I want to recommend a free program called “Pocket.” Because it’s one of my favorites, ever.

https://getpocket.com/about

Why I love it:

You see something on-line you want to read later, and Pocket grabs it for you so you can read it anywhere: on your phone, tablet, PC, laptop. I tried to capture their icon, but couldn’t find a way to do it. It’s a white arrow on a red shield. All you have to do is click on that shield on your brower’s toolbar and the article you want to read later is saved.

  • It does NOT include all the sidebars, ads, and other extraneous stuff, just the article.
  • If you want to see the whole article, it puts the link up in the right-hand corner when you open the article. That way you can go and share it on places like Facebook. And read comments, because it strips them, too.
  • You can change some settings. My favorite is one that has a black background with a white font. This cuts way down on screen glare!
  • You can change the font size.
  • It has a long list of “recommended” articles—probably those that get the most clicks.
  • You can sit in a more comfortable chair to read longer pieces.
  • You can delete them, make them a favorite. or archive them.

My only problem with it is that I save way too many article to read later, and that cuts into my novel reading. But I am able to keep up with the news, save how-to-write-better posts, and find quirky things to share on Facebook and Twitter.

https://getpocket.com/about

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