“Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” I really should
needlepoint a pillow with those words. It’ll match the unfinished daisy afghan my
mother-in-law gave me on my first Christmas as a married woman—47 years ago.
Yes, it’s me. The Princess of Procrastination, the Duchess of Delay, the Queen of
Quit, Lady Later. I’m not sure how I came to own those titles. I don’t remember
waiting till the last minute to finish term papers or science fair projects. In fact, I
made myself sick in 6th grade—ensuring I’d miss school the next day—because I
hadn’t finished a book report. Perhaps it was because these were all other
people’s priorities. Not mine.
It’s usually MY To-Do List that has nothing crossed off. MY must-dos that get
rolled over to tomorrow, or next week, or—in an act of mercy—dropped off all
together. The list of excuses is almost as long as the list of unfinished tasks. The
junk drawer must be cleaned right now. I’m sure friends are too busy so why call
to set up lunch. I can buy that book on writing anytime—doesn’t have to be
today. My idea for the next book needs more research.
That’s not to say I have never felt the joy of slicing through a task with a red pen.
After all I did write and publish my debut novel last year. I did speak at book
clubs, and libraries, and bookstores. But there are still major items awaiting my
attention. Facebook, I’m talking to you—you and I will become friends this year.
Jon Bard & Laura Backers of WritingBlueprints.com say that “the most important
trait aspiring creatives should cultivate is courage.” To take an idea and run with
it. To share that work with the world. To subject oneself to criticism.
Procrastination has little to do with being lazy or unprepared or untalented. It’s all
about FEAR—of failure or even success; of not being good enough and then being
found out; of feeling that what you’ve created doesn’t matter. It all matters and
So find one personal high priority item from your list today and break it down into
smaller steps. Then do one of them—“the journey of a thousand miles begins with
a single step.” Two weeks ago I entered a book award contest. Check. Today I’m
posting a new blog on the PWG website. Check. Mark Z.—hope you’ve got your
act together ‘cause the Countess of Can Do is ready to dethrone “Get on Facebook”
from the top of the list.
Diana is a Baby Boomer, diehard Beatles fan, and now an Author on Amazon.