16 Jun

Today was a beautiful sunny day. I was working from home. I got to admire the sun out through my window all day.

I couldn’t  get out and enjoy it because I have not prioritised my time well these last 3 weeks, and the cut off date for submissions to our latest Library Review is upon me. This is a long held flaw of mine: letting the pressure of close timelines be my motivator, rather than planning my work schedule well well in advance.


So I ask you all sincerely – what tips and tricks do you all have to avoid procrastination? 



I have got better over the last 12 months. I’ve been reading about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, about how our brain can only take so much problem solving at a time before it will just search for the most obvious fix and stick with that, about how decisionmaking should be done when we are fresh.

So now I have two types of work on my to do list – one is the new things that need to be considered and evaluated; the other is work I know how to do eg invoices to process

When I arrive in the morning (this and after lunch are apparently our freshest times for making considered decisions, although I’m not sure this takes into account whether you are a morning or evening person)
I now try and start something on the new things To Do list.
I have the energy and engagement to get through a bit. The minute I start to notice my attention is wandering though, I put it on hold, and do something off the second list
eg check my daily emails
(I am attempting Inbox Zero but only seem to be able to achieve Inbox 35)
process invoices,
load all the relevant files for each meeting that week onto my Dropbox in Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri folders

It is working well for me. I usually get bored by the administrivia pile and go back to the important work much more quickly than before. I am definitely getting more of my first To do list work completed without rushing.

I’m also trying to remind myself that when I put something off because I fear it or don’t know how to start – it usually  turns into something interesting when timelines force me to put everything aside and just have a stab at it.


However even with all this I ended up putting off this submission writing (not beating myself up too much as we have been really busy at work) until today. despite dreading the formality and writing load, I have enjoyed writing them in the end, felt more engaged with a long term plan for my section and wider place of work, yet realised I could have done more credit to them with a bit more time.

Perhaps I just need to use Twitter like some of our postgrad students – and put out a call at times that I am going to #shutupandwrite – and if anyone sees me online to tell me to get back to work.


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