One of the things that I learned from Chris Guillebeau a long time ago was the power of deciding on and sticking to a schedule. For someone who is a skilled procrastinator like myself, this has proven to be invaluable. One of the keys to success is consistency – for example, picking Tuesday evening as your scheduled time to put up a blog post (oh hi there!) – and sticking with it, no matter what.
If you fail to stick to your schedule, you then have to publicly admit defeat. For example, if you miss writing a blog post, you are then required to post something – even if it’s as simple as a note that says “this week I failed.” (Ouch.)
The reasoning for giving yourself this level of consistency is that you create a standard to which you hold yourself (even if no one else is reading this, I know that if I miss a scheduled post, I have failed); if you allow yourself to slip, it then becomes easier and easier the next time, on and on in a downward spiral. “Oh, I had a lot going on today, I’ll just write tomorrow… oh, this week was just no good, I’ll write next week…” All of a sudden, it’s next month, and your blog is lying awake at night, lonely and abandoned… you get the picture!
I hold myself to this standard, knowing that my personality type is such that I could earn a gold medal at the Procrastination Olympics – next year. By creating consistency for myself, I hold myself accountable. I allow myself to sidestep the messy procrastination track, and I keep myself on task.
I know that this system doesn’t work for everyone, but if you’re anything like me, give it a shot. Be your own accountability partner and schedule yourself for success. And, let me know how it goes (or if you have tips and tricks for your specific personality- or work-type)!