Today was one of those days – I have several big projects for private clients waiting for me and I just couldn’t seem to get started. After messing around doing little chores around the house, playing with the dogs, running a few errands, it dawned on me that I procrastinate. Having never thought of myself as one to wait until the last minute, I started wondering why I am doing that now. I’m not lazy or usually distracted, rather what I think the problem is, is that I want to do such a good job on certain projects that I sike myself out. I will finally have a shot at a project that I really wanted or a magazine article that I know I can nail, but for some reason I freeze, get nervous and can’t produce – it’s like I’m afraid that my work won’t be good enough. And I’m sure I’m not the only one to suffer from this.
Here’s how it usually goes for me: First I put off that big project for a few days and spend my time working on smaller less meaningful projects. Then, when I finally designate a day to work on it, for the first few hours I mess around on Facebook or Twitter or like today I do things around the house that could wait until later. Then I start checking things like my eHow account, my bank accounts, my email (about 50 times in an hour) and so forth until before I know it half of my day is wasted and I still haven’t started said project.
What I have found is that after I waste a whole bunch of time and I finally get to work on the project, it goes pretty fast and I produce high quality work. The problem is just getting started. It’s like I have nervous energy that I need to get rid of before I can get down to business. Hopefully acknowledging this problem will help me work through it. While I have made massive improvements in my time management skills, I can’t make a living by messing around up until the last minute on the big projects. What do you do to stop from procrastinating?