Productive Procrastination? 5



I am not generally a procrastinator except when I am.  I prefer to think of what I do while I’m fittin’ to get ready to do what needs to be done as:




  •  marinating ideas before I commit them to paper



  • planning before I act.


I get a lot of piddling things done when I’m marinating about the larger projects.  This results in hours passing, a lot getting done, being too tuckered to take on the project that I should have been doing and shelving it for yet another day.


Works for me…except when it doesn’t.


Then I remember, “well-begun is half-done.”  I don’t know who said this first but it’s something I’ve heard since I was a child.


I have to force myself to begin, sometimes wrestling long and hard with myself:


Do it, Candelaria.  Do it, to it.  Stop messing around.  Just do it, already!


Whine: But I don’t wanna.  I’m tired. I’m bored.  Haven’t I done this a million times already why do I have to do it again?  Ah yes – for the money, for the meal, for the order.  Sigh.


These are the ways I’ve found to  start.


(For Consulting Projects):




  • Making a list of project components. 



  •  Doodling ideas on a scrap of paper. 



  • Typing in the client or project’s name on a word document.  (Other words usually follow but even when they don’t, it means it’s officially begun.)



  • Looking at  similar work I’ve done before.


Something has to be written to get it started…sort of like water to prime a pump.


(For Chores):




  • Sprinkle cleanser in the tub so that I have no choice but to scrub it down before I take my next shower.



  • Placing the broom and mop where I’ll have to trip over them.



  • Dumping the contents of the messy drawer or shelf on my bed or dining room table so I’ll have to deal with it



  • Not turning on the computer until the floor has been swept.


(for Cooking):




  • Washing the lettuce and storing in a container.  (Makes it quicker to assemble a salad later.)



  • Chopping up the veggies for soup, spaghetti or stir fry early in the morning before I grab the paper.



  • Are you a procrastinator or a do-er?


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About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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5 thoughts on “Productive Procrastination?

  • LeeAnn

    I dunno old friend, I can sprinkle cleanser in the tub and just let the shower run and rinse it out before the next time I need a shower. And, I can also sleep on the couch after I dump the drawer on the bed

  • Eve

    I just Love it! I really enjoy your blog and the things you share. I agree about just getting things started and I just had to laugh when you quoted “well-begun is half done” because I heard that in my house growing up too. Thanks for sharing – I’m looking forward toi your next post.

  • Lilly

    Oh I am a bit of both. Some days I achieve very little and others I achieve a lot. However, I tend to achieve more if I am up early and start working on tasks straight away. If I laze about at the start of the day I tend to find it hard to gain the motivation to get busy later. The day is inevitably written off. Sometimes I over complicate things and over think them. I think its best to organise your priorities for the next day the night before and just get up and do them without giving them too much thought. And its best to start with the tasks you really do not want to do first – if I don’t they sit on my To Do list forever more.