by Jargon Writer

Writing my way to becoming a freelancer

Procrastination Hurts.

This guest post is by Jay Hepner, a freelance writer, college prep tutor and career coach living in Gaithersburg, MD.

Procrastination.  What is it?   Why does it occur?  Why is it a problem?

Procrastination is putting off until “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” until the would-be actor “struts and frets” several more hours upon the stage than he or she had planned. Probably not planned.

Procrastination occurs because not doing anything is far easier than doing something, particularly something important.  Something important could get botched.  Unimportant stuff doesn’t get procrastinated.

We procrastinate because there’s always something more interesting than what somebody else tells us to do. Or, if we’re self-employed, it’s usually that perfectionist bastard “Resistance” dogging us.

A belief in what Steinbeck has called “the perfectibility of man” — or woman for that matter – tripled with a belief in the perfectibility of the task at hand and a concomitant fear of failure at the task, a fear that the product will be so semi-adequate as to expose the writer for a fraud, begins to brew a potent cauldron of calamity.

“Bubble, bubble / Toil and trouble,” indeed.

The cauldron itself is simply a desire to avoid the unpleasantness of the task.  But the longer one puts it off, the greater the unpleasantness.  The task isn’t forgotten.

On the contrary, it eats away with acid intent, at the same time generating a cosmic mass of worry that weighs ever heavier on the breast and brow of the “to-doer.”  One ends up living yesterday both today and tomorrow. And “tomorrow and tomorrow . . . .”

So, how to attack the procrastination monster?

First, get yourself a copy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Learn to CoPORD:  Collect. Process. Organize. Review. Do! The sooner done, the more time for fun.

Next, take pride and joy in productivity.  Revel in the number of different tasks you can complete in a day.  Keep score with yourself.  Play your own game of Beat the Clock.   Make lists everyday of what you want to get done from an elevated, ultimate perspective, down to the next actions you need to take to move yourself towards the achievement of those goals.

As the great basketball coach, Morgan Wooten, said, “Inch by inch, life is a cinch.  Yard by yard, life is hard.” Of course, consider what you will do.  As Shakespeare’s Falstaff put it, “Caution is often better than rash bravery.”

“Plan your work and work your plan,” says former NFL coach, Denny Green.

A little done today will be a lot done tomorrow.

Stop procrastinating. Procrastination hurts.

This guest post was written by Jay Hepner. Jay is a freelance writer, college prep tutor and career coach living in Gaithersburg, MD.

For more from Jay, follow him on Twitter @JHepCat72, or check out his blog, www.copywriterjayhepner.blogspot.com.

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April 1, 2010 - Posted by | Freelancing, in practice, writing

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