Procrastination vs. Keeping My Word to Myself

How do I get myself to do what I’m “supposed” do? So often, that’s what procrastination looks like. I’m supposed to be doing “A”, but instead I’m doing “B”. I’m supposed to get up and shower, but instead I’m cuddling with my kitty and drinking more coffee.

But perhaps the problem is in the way I think about it.

Who says I’m supposed to be doing A?

The problem when you’re a self-employed, small business owner, working for yourself, is that it’s you. It’s all you. And we are not trained to be responsible to ourselves. We are trained to be responsible to others – our parents, our teachers, our bosses. So, how do we learn to be responsible to ourselves?

And therein lies the real skill of time management: being responsible to yourself, keeping your word to yourself. Because I create my own schedule and so, keeping my schedule is keeping my word to myself.

And therein also lies the trap. If I don’t keep my word to myself, what do I make that mean? Does it mean:

“I’ll never be successful.”
“I’m not worthy.”
“I’m a hopeless lazy flake.”

There are so many ways I can torture myself about not keeping my word to myself. But this is just another method of procrastination. Do you see the trap?

The way out of the trap is to embrace the process. Each success or failure doesn’t mean anything in and of itself. It’s all part of the process of me learning to keep my word to myself. I will make mistakes; I will fall on my ass, probably many times. But if I recognize that this is the process of learning to be responsible to myself, no individual failure means more than that one failure.

And so I can learn from that failure and grow.

What did I learn from not keeping my schedule this morning? I learned that the day after I work out, I tend to need more sleep. So, in the future I can schedule accordingly. Going to take a shower now….

Procrastination – A Closer Look

In the August Newsletter, I wrote about procrastination and I promised to write more about it in the Artist’s EDGE Blog. And here it is 5 months later. The truth is, I’ve been procrastinating about blogging. Oh, the irony! In the Newsletter, my advice is to ask yourself, what’s really going on. So — let’s do that…

When I ask myself — “I’m procrastinating about blogging – what’s that about?” The surface answer is “Oh, I’m so busy. I have too much to do. Other things are more urgent.” And all of that is legitimately true. But it’s not the source of the procrastination. When I look closer and get really honest with myself — it’s fear.

I’m afraid that I don’t have anything important to say. Or that you, my faithful readers, won’t find it important or valuable.

So, this is what I do when I identify fear. I move toward it (as I told the Artists Marketing & Business Academy on our call “Overcoming Fear“).

I have made a few decisions around my writing and blogging. And I want you to know them, so that I am accountable. First, I’ve committed to two hours of writing twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. I have many things I need to write, such as the Artist’s EDGE Newsletter, classes for the Artists Marketing & Business Academy and new web pages. Plus, I am also starting my first book.

But here is my commitment to you. I will write a blog post at least once a week during these writing sessions. You heard me — once a week! So you have my permission to e-mail me and call me on it, if I miss a week.