Give yourself less time


I’m writing this post while procrastinating on work that I’m supposed to be doing. I know, I’m sure this sounds totally unfamiliar to you.

How to make budgeting sexy

I’m preparing a short presentation on budgeting for members of the Puttytribe. The Puttytribe is a members-only forum for those who have many different interests and want to share their hobbies and projects with others, for feedback and accountability. If you want to surround yourself with positive folks doing awesome things, you should join. (Full disclosure: I am not an affiliate, but Emilie, who runs the Puttytribe, is a good friend of mine.)

And right now, every fiber in my being is recoiling from working on this presentation. This is crazy; I love writing and talking about how you can use what money you have to be able to do anything you want. And yet, I’m thinking longingly of cleaning my apartment now, such is my desire to avoid putting this thing together.

Why is that? Well, it’s a bigger project for one. If my posts here were longer than 1,000 words, I probably would never post anything. Too much pressure, too much revision. I’d get paralyzed.

Also, this is my first presentation of this type, so it feels like a lot is riding on this, even though that’s probably an over-statement. I want it to be good. Great even.

Putting it off actually isn’t a rationalization

So why am I putting this together the day before? Am I just a slacker?

Well, maybe, but I’m just trying to constrain the project, limiting the amount of the time that I can spend on it.

Because I know that if I had blocked out three whole days to work on this project, I would use all three.

If I had given myself a week, I’d have used the whole week.

Hell, if I had given myself a month, I’d still be tweaking things on day 30.

But I have one day now. And this ensures that I don’t get stuck in the details. I can’t. I don’t have time.

Will this result in this presentation being less polished than it might otherwise be? Oh yeah. This is going to be rougher than a bike ride across the Serengeti. But it’s going to get done, and without running myself too ragged in the process.

It’s far too easy to focus on the minutiae of a project and let it distract you from the important structure. So I’m putting my procrastination to work, and preventing me from doing that. It’s more like “active” procrastination, in that you are giving yourself permission to put something off, which feels different from standard procrastination (avoidance).

Also, if you need to get a blog post done, having another big project ensures that the post will get done, because after all, even with a single day to prepare, procrastination will still happen.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some dishes. And then a bike ride.

Are you interested in getting in on a live presentation on budgeting? What if it were free? I’ll be scheduling a follow-up and will let you know when it’s happening.

But enough about me: How do you handle preparing for a big project?

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