Next Stop: Procrastination Station

I am working on a story right now that I’m having a hard time finishing. And, when I say I am “working” on it, I’m using the verb in the loosest way possible. Fact is, I haven’t lifted a finger to complete this story in weeks, maybe even months. Sure, I’ve had plenty of excuses as to why I couldn’t work on the piece. Grades were due. Other deadlines loomed larger. I had to take my cat to the vet.

The truth is I am a bit stuck on the story, which is a travel feature on the part of the world where I was born. Perhaps the proverbial saying that familiarity breeds contempt is just too true in this case, and I can’t really see why anyone would go out of their way to visit the Arkansas Delta unless there was a Thanksgiving turkey and fat slice of coconut cake waiting for them at the end of the rutted road.

But the assignment — and The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge on list making —  led me to reflect on some of my favorite ways to procrastinate, which I have explored all too thoroughly in recent weeks and also enumerated below.

1. Work on something completely unrelated to the task at hand – I call it productive procrastination. Sure, taking on a 15-day Blogging 201 challenge improved the appearance and content of my blog and I do need to transcribe some notes from that interview project I’ve been researching for more than a year, but is now really the time?

2. Run errands – Although I am not a prolific shopper, I will not hesitate to take a trip to the bank or post office in the middle of the day or even create an elaborate grocery list that can take hours to fill. I think one of the secret pitfalls of working from home is the allure of running weekday errands when destinations are “less crowded.”

3. Exercise – It’s another form of productive procrastination. Days when I want to avoid my desk are the perfect time to double the length of a leisurely walk or add a few reps from one of the workouts in my latest fitness obsession, 30-Day Fitness Challenges.

4. Cook – There is nothing quite as satisfying as concocting an elaborate batch of prosciutto-wrapped, cherry-stuffed chicken breasts or crafting a three-layer cake when a deadline is imminent. After all, why drive to Arkansas when I can bake my own coconut cake right here at home?

5. Let online research devolve into aimless internet surfing – Okay, so I’m on Level 181 of Candy Crush Saga. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?

Please share your favorite ways to procrastinate. I need some new ideas.

Free Photo from Photo Pin

Free Photo from Photo Pin

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Who Needs the Gym? I Do.

Folks with full-time jobs might think it’s easy to stay fit as a freelancer who works from home and sets his or her own schedule. After all, freelancers can feasibly drop what they’re doing and go for a run or attend a Pilates class while working stiffs are confined to their cubicles.

I have to admit, when I left full-time K-12 teaching to work as an adjunct professor and devote more energy to writing, I thought the same thing. What’s more, the new gym at the college commons was open to audacious employees willing to work out next to coeds far fitter and firmer than they. So I dropped my gym membership, planned on working out every day I had classes on campus and even created a Pinterest board optimistically titled “Who Needs the Gym?”

Who needs the gym? Turns out, I do.

I need the gym:

  • to watch St. Louis Cardinals games in a venue that does not offer beer bucket specials since my quasi-Luddite lifestyle means I don’t have cable television at home but am not opposed to taking advantage of it at nearby taverns.
  • as a weekend refuge from the Budweiser, barbecue, boy haven, Beatles guitar jam festival that my own home sometimes morphs into during spring and summer months.
  • as a place to expand my summer workout regimen beyond leisurely walks around the neighborhood and the occasional yoga practice or Jillian Michaels DVD.

So my recently reactivated gym membership starts in May and I have to admit I’m sort of excited to get back into a  more rigorous routine — and the gym’s new sauna — after a tough work out, of course.

For more on staying fit as a freelancer, please  check out my story and others on the topic in WOW! Women On Writing.

Free Photo from MorgueFile

Free Photo from MorgueFile