All posts tagged: Procrastination

Why I Will Never Pull an All-Nighter

Procrastination is almost always presented as a negative act, a problem to be tamed, a character flaw to be furtively confessed. As someone who never does tomorrow what I can finish today, I’d like to present a different view. I have harbored secret admiration for procrastinators my whole life, because they’re comfortable rolling with last-minute changes and short deadlines in a way I fear I never will be. I was the kind of student in high school who received her assignments, immediately broke them into smaller, manageable tasks, then dutifully counted backwards from the due date to record each one on my desk calendar with a blue Bic pen. At a time when my social life and hair were unenviable (the latter thanks to ‘80s spiral perms and Aquanet,) I craved the feeling of control and calm that came with seeing exactly what would be expected of me each day, checking each completed task off the list. Adolescence could feel like wading chest-high through peaty sludge, but at least my homework was always complete, and …

The Real Trick Is to Ask a Friend for Help

It was early 1993, in my last few months of college, and my plan to become a Famous Actress Who Would Change the World With Her Talent was knocking it out of the park. I had just returned from a thrilling trip to New York City, where I’d auditioned for and won a spot at my first choice graduate school. I had also managed to score the lead in my first paid acting gig. In Omaha. Now all I had to do was graduate a few weeks early and get myself to Nebraska in time for the first rehearsal. I talked to my professors and made up an accelerated schedule to graduate. It would be fast and furious, and I would miss all the celebrations with my friends, but I would be rewarded; my mom bought me a used car from a family friend, and I would road trip it to Omaha. Artists road trip you know, and I was an artist. One problem: I didn’t have a driver’s license. I don’t trust people who …

4 Books on Productivity You Shouldn’t Put Off Reading

(Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com) It’s a wonder that these lines are appearing on the screen in front of you now and not next week. But since no procrastination was employed in the production of this column, you will be able to learn about a few of the best books to help you stamp out all kinds procrastination. (Wait, where is that list? Oh, phew. A couple of other tasks got in the way…) The Power of Habit may be the most important book to recommend for getting past your unproductive habit of procrastinating. Author Charles Duhigg examines the routine and often unconscious behaviors that rule so many of us through amusing anecdotes and science-based research. He offers productive techniques to help you break bad habits, restructure your life and meet your goals. If your goal is to procrastinate more, well, even Duhigg can’t fix that. In 2002, Steven Pressfield wrote The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle, and changed many a writer’s life: He identified how outward ambitions get in the way of creative …

Can a Procrastinating Mom Change Her Procrastinating Son?

Some nights, I’d hear him puttering around in his room. Maybe he’d drop the tennis ball he was tossing up in the air and it would bounce across his bedroom floor. Or I’d realize he was poking around on Spotify, playing a fragment of one pop song, then a fragment of another. He’d only stop when I’d call out: “Are you really finishing your homework?” Silence. Then a highly unconvincing “Yes!” would fill the air. “You’ve got to stop wasting time,” I’d say in my most grown-up voice. “It’s almost bedtime and you’re still doing homework. The only person that hurts is you. You know you won’t want to get up for school tomorrow if you don’t get some sleep tonight. You said an hour ago you were tired. Just get your work done.” Just get your work done. I sounded so sure of myself. If he could have seen me on a hidden camera, he would have discovered that I was wandering around on Facebook, scrolling endlessly, pointlessly, through quippy comments and cat photos, pausing only …

Margit’s Note: A Beautiful, Wandering Mind

(Illustration: Margit Detweiler/TueNight.com) As I write this, it’s Tuesday, 12:34 pm and we launch in a few hours. I’ve just returned from a weekend at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and after loads of inspiring chats, Shiner Boch beers, and breakfast burritos, I’m a bit spent. So what better time to write the editor’s note than LAST MINUTE? I need a little panic in my soul to find my mojo, and typically do my best work right before deadline. Or maybe, I just typically work right before deadline. Because when down to the wire, there’s no way out: no time to take a nap, turn on the TV, work on other projects (a productive way to procrastinate!), take an Instagram of my cowboy boots, read that Atlantic article, sign up for that new Meerkat thingy, get a coffee, chat with my officemate, Meerkat our chat… And maybe more importantly, no time to listen to all the voices in my head that say, “So you think you’re a writer? Hahahahaha…” It’s clock ticking, voices off, …