As promised, here is the content of my procrastination jar accumulated over the past 10 days. Initially I thought I would reveal it after two weeks into the writing challenge of #acwrimo, but thinking about it I realised it was better to reflect on my little procrastination demons now. This way I have a better chance to improve my working habits by the end of the month.
Not in any particular order or importance, the pieces of paper in my procrastination jar say:
- Random chats in the office
- 30 minutes of pointless browsing on the internet – don’t want to start writing!
- Updating my progress on the monthly challenges – easily distracted today
- Reading how to structure my literature review in order to avoid beginning writing
- Talking too much, anything else seems more interesting than writing
- Playing with mobile and texting
- I’m worried about explaining and writing about my theoretical framework, hence avoiding it…
- Reading blogs and checking email for the 5th time today
Now I have made an official statement of the things which stop me working. And I will consider the following steps to help me stay more focused and productive:
- I’ll check my email 3 times a day – first thing when I come in in the morning, lunch time and before I leave the office. I will allow no more than 20 minutes at a time for that.
- Browsing, twitter and blogs will only be allowed during break times – lunch and tea in the afternoon (if there is time for that one). Same for texting and mobile…
- When I’m anxious about writing, I will write this down because it seems that once I’ve done it, I get on ok.
I’m not really sure how to address the talking bit as I do love talking so I will have to think about that.
Finishing on a positive note, I don’t want to feel bad about these little slips after all, as I have done well so far. I have completed my target of 2 hours writing per workday, my literature review looks and reads considerably better, the paper feels like it will be drafted in time and the case studies are not that scary any more. In addition, the presence of the procrastination jar on my desk has been extremely helpful in making me conscious that I am accountable for every time I procrastinate. As a result I have been doing it less than usual in comparison with the weeks before the exercise. I also noticed that every time I wrote a note to put in the jar that was actually stopping my procrastination and I was back to work.
Well done me!