Procrastination, Peeps, And Why Both Are OK Sometimes

Time Management PeepsThe day after Easter is a pretty fabulous day on my calendar. It is the day that my local grocery store puts Peeps on sale for 75% off. I suppose I use the sale to justify eating those glorious, sugary, terribly unhealthy marshmallow chicks once a year.  That’s why I put off buying them until the last minute before they clear off the shelves. Now, doing anything at the last minute makes me a little uneasy, what with being a time management speaker and all, but I’ve found that sometimes a little procrastination doesn’t hurt, especially when you have a good reason. That advice saved me hours of time this week. Allow me to explain:

To Procrastinate or Not to Procrastinate

I have a grant proposal due tomorrow. Not wanting to put it off, I sat down to start it earlier in the week, and immediately became frustrated. Words and ideas just weren’t coming to me. I stared at the blank computer screen, occasionally typing a mangled sentence or two, and then immediately deleting them because they made no sense. I was not at all in the right mindset to conjure up brilliant thoughts and began to realize that writing a 10-page proposal could easily take me all day at this pace. This was torture.

I closed my computer telling myself I would come back to it later, but that didn’t feel right. “I’m procrastinating!” I thought. “I should just do this now and be done with it.” But as the minutes ticked by and my document continued to remain stagnant, I knew I was wasting my time. I would have to give “do it later” a shot. (Besides, NPR said it was OK.)

Coming Back to it Later

Over the next couple of days, I wrote down a few scattered proposal ideas that came to me while doing other things. I woke up on Friday morning feeling inspired and took a look at the ideas I had written. The picture of what I needed to do was all starting to become clear, and I sat down and hammered out 5 solid pages pretty much without stopping. After getting a strong start, doubling that number proved to be no trouble at all.

Had I continued to work on the proposal the first day I tired, I probably would have finished it, but it would have taken hours. I had the luxury of time and needed to step away from the project for a while and come back to it later. Was I procrastinating? Sure. But it ended up working out for the better.

What’s The Point?

The point of this week’s blog is not to say that you should always stop doing things when they become difficult and put them off until later. The point is that sometimes procrastination can be justified. Whether you are waiting to buy your favorite once-a-year sugary snack for a few pennies, or waiting for a spell of writer’s block to pass, there are times when waiting until “later” can pay off. Just don’t make your last minute solution a habit.

Connect with The Time Diet for more time management tips

Fear of a Blank Page: Conquering Writer’s Block

Scorpions, heights, blank Microsoft Word screens. Those three things terrify me about equally as much.

We’ve all suffered from writer’s block at some point or another. Whether it is a paper for a class, a report for a boss, or an awkward email, we’ve all suffered the frustration of wasting time while struggling to find the right words. Writer’s block happens to the best of us, but it doesn’t have to stretch on indefinitely. The following strategies can help lessen the time spent staring at that blinking cursor.

1. Speak It

If you can’t find the perfect way to write something, say it out loud. Don’t think about it in advance, just start talking. Then, write down what you said, even if it was rambling and included a lot of “sortas” and “likes.” Once you see the basic structure of the point you’re trying to make, it’s easier to adjust your words to be more coherent.

2. Start in the Middle

Sometimes the first sentence is the most difficult to write. Don’t let crafting your introductory words hold up your whole composition. Just write them last. There is no rule that states you must write your words in the order they will appear. Come back to the beginning later. Often, the beginning is easier to write once you’ve finished your thoughts anyway.

3. Do Something Else

If your ideas just aren’t flowing, sometimes it’s best to step away from the project for a while and complete another task. Our best ideas often come to us while our minds are busy doing something else. Just don’t put off the task too long. You can spend a lifetime waiting for the “perfect” set of words to come to you.

Formulating complex ideas into clear, concise sentences isn’t always easy, but the more you practice, the less of a drain writer’s block will be on your time management.

Connect with The Time Diet and receive weekly blog and event updates



Photo Credit: