One of my mountains to climb
to reach life/balance, is my low threshold for distraction. I’m one of those
people who was constantly looking for the magic pill that would make me
organized, be able to locate every slip of paper, and every computer file, no
matter how obscure the name.
I spent too much time
berating myself for procrastination, which wasted even more time.
I heard other people shout
the miracles they had achieved with hundreds of different systems, and wished I
were one of them.
Although simple for some, those
systems drove me nuts, and I found myself procrastinating before I could even
purchase new file folders.
So I was happy and relieved
when I started reading the words of Gina Trapani in “Fast Company,”
particularly “How to Make Procrastination Productive.”
At last, someone was telling
me there was an upside of procrastination. She said to do something worthwhile
during procrastination, like cleaning my desk, so at least I can feel good
I love that idea. The problem
for me was that as I started to work on the proposal for my book, “The Dynamic
Workplace Where Employees Love to Go and Customers Love to Buy.” I realized
that my desk was a mess, I felt overwhelmed by my it, and decided I really
needed to bake some cookies for that jolt of sugar that would give me the energy to clean the mess off my desk, so I would have room to write. So, after eating 12 chocolate chip cookies, I felt too sick to clean
the desk in order to write my book proposal, and realized that I needed a nap
to sleep off the cookies.
Feeling even worse, I decided
that I needed more information, and had to get back on the Internet, and read
more of her advice. By this time, the deadline was quickly approaching to
complete the white paper I hadn’t started.
I knew there must be one
thing I could read that would make me productive, but after three hours, I
couldn’t find it. I ended up feeling so guilty for getting nothing done, that I
had to do something. I realized after rereading her articles that the point was
to know what I was going to do and just do something.
I followed her advice about
setting a kitchen timer for 60 minutes and closing all email alerts, windows
and not answering the “urgent calls.” I knew I still had to get out of my
environment, so I packed up the computer, took my kitchen timer, got in the
car, went to a coffee shop without internet access and started book proposal. I
got more done in that one hour than I would have in my home office in two
days. I thank Gina Trapani, and
her generosity of ideas that make sense.
Now my only problem is that
I’m addicted to reading her articles. I just have to resist creating a Gina