Tag Archives: procrastination

Success by the Inch

DontWorryMakeMoneyAs a dedicated freelancer and creature of habit, I typically begin each workday at my desk. Regardless of whether I have a project or an assignment, I can always find something constructive to do. However, last spring, after a routine physical and a few lab tests, my doctor informed me that I was woefully deficient in Vitamin D. Wary of taking the 50,000 unit megadose he prescribed, I decided instead to begin each morning sunning myself for an hour on my balcony overlooking a creek that runs through a shady ravine.

To pass the time, I began reading the books that have been patiently waiting on my bookshelves for years while I worked diligently away, growing more Vitamin D deficient with each passing day. At first, I experienced pangs of guilt as my mind strayed toward my vacant desk. But it wasn’t long before I found myself craving that sunny hour on my balcony each morning, indulging in the long-forgotten luxury of reading purely for pleasure.

My summer reading list began with a folksy Southern cookbook called Screen Doors and Sweet Tea (a Christmas gift from my brother Nolan); followed by Inspector Saito’s Small Satori, a collection of Japanese detective stories. Next came the classic tale of Zorba the Greek, and believe it or not…all 564 pages of Alain Danielou’s Complete Kama Sutra.

And then along came Don’t Worry, Make Money by Richard Carlson, a boutique-sized book comprised of 100 little essays on various business-related tips, many of which are based on social pleasantries and old-fashioned common sense. One in particular however, an idea described in Essay Number 22, has since become one of the most effective productivity tools in my repertoire. It’s called: The Critical Inch.

The concept behind this technique is to step back from the big picture and focus instead on the minutiae. As with any goal or project, it’s often the small things that eventually add up to its completion; and at any given moment, there’s usually one piece of the puzzle causing a log jam in the flow of productivity. Whether it’s making a crucial phone call you’ve been procrastinating, running an errand to buy supplies and sundries, or even something as simple as tidying up your workspace, there’s always one small step, that Critical Inch, which is, in reality, a giant leap toward achieving your goal.

On the day that I read Richard Carlson’s Essay Number 22, once my sun-drenched reading hour was up, I marched straight into my office and began making lists of all the tasks, both big and small, that would get me to the finish line of each of the projects I had in development. As a result, I’m pleased to say that, thanks to Critical Inch thinking, I’m now on the threshold of launching a line of boutique spice blends, and finally publishing a children’s book that has been 20 years in the making.

CelesteHeiterFZBioCeleste Heiter is the author of Turn Your PC into a Lean Mean Freelancing Machine, the creator of the LoveBites Cookbook Series for Kindle Fire, and the author of Potty Pals , a potty-training book for children. She has also written ten books published by ThingsAsian Press; and spent eight years posting her recipes, food photographs, and film reviews on ChopstickCinema .

Visit her website, and her Amazon Author Page.

Five Tips for Writers for Avoiding Procrastination

by Erin Dalpini

It’s 2:35 p.m. and your piece is due in less than two hours. You’ve known about it for a couple weeks, but here you are with a deadline looming and no copy to show for it. Clock ticking, heart racing, palms sweating, you type and type—like a no-nonsense secretary—and manage to finish your piece well with ten minutes to spare. Proof it, attach it, hit send. And pour yourself a cocktail.

I’m sure this isn’t you.

But if it is, take heart. Up until college, I was quite possibly the worst procrastinator when it came to writing. Somehow, I still managed to get high marks on my papers, but not without the stress and lost sleep that curses habitual procrastinators. Not to mention, I lost out a lot on the writing process, since I was turning in work that could have been better polished. Over the years, I learned to change my ways for the better, and you can too.

Arm yourself against the procrastinator’s curse with these five suggestions:

1. Dive in. The best way to avoid procrastination seems like the simplest one. You have a pile of papers or file folder awaiting your attention, or you’ve just received an assignment (yess!), but your Id would rather eat some pizza or catch a good flick. Pick up that folder, open that email or file, take a good, long look, and just dive in. Allow yourself to get completely immersed in the creative process of planning and drafting your assignment, which is always a good reminder of why you chose to write anyway (rather than doing anything but to avoid a looming project). Continue reading Five Tips for Writers for Avoiding Procrastination

Boost Your Time Management Skills

 Ok….let’s be honest….are you good at time management? Do the days tend to get away from you or are you able to keep up on projects with no problem? Most of us who work at home need to stay on top of things to make sure projects get completed on time. If you could use a little help, check out this site. You’ll find some great tips and resources, such as how to benefit from an activity log, how to prioritize your tasks and great info on beating procrastination. Excellent stuff!