This week, I made the conscious choice to intentionally procrastinate on a large project I have on my plate.
I’ve been slowly chipping away at building the website for my new book that’s releasing later this year. So far, this has involved tasks like the following:
- Buying the domain name
- Installing a website theme
- Outlining the structure of the site
- Creating a menu that aligns with this structure
- Designing the hyperlinked glossary of 100+ items mentioned in the book
- Designing the about the author page and embedding various multimedia that I’ve created throughout the book writing process (like Anatomy of a Book podcast episodes and videos from my 10-day writing retreat and my #30hourswriting challenge)
But there’s still a lot to be done. Here are some of the tasks remaining on my list:
- Designing and creating resource pages for each book chapter with links and bonus content related to each topic (12 pages total)
- Designing and creating a page that highlights the 20+ people profiled in the book (I’ve already collected all the head shots I need for this one)
- Scripting and recording a video book trailer for the website
I was planning to get started on the first two things on this remaining task list this week, but it’s a lot of work and this week is pretty packed with other tasks for new creative projects I’m working on. And it’s not just this week — I have some big goals I’m trying to accomplish for the months of April and May.
Then, I had a realization.
I really have the next few months to get this project done. I’d like the site to be available over the summer to help with some pre-sale promotion for the book, but that means that I don’t absolutely have to be working on this project right this moment. Although it would be nice to have this project launched and completed, I don’t need to do it right now.
So, I’m putting it off.
This is the privilege of being a precrastinator, or someone who plans ahead to a ridiculous degree. Precrastinators often get work done days, weeks, or months in advance (and then fill their plates with more work… that will also be done in advance). Sometimes precrastinators will do more work, earlier, just for the feeling of getting it done — even if that means the task is harder to complete.
(Just hearing this term for the first time? Here’s a short article on it.)
This might sound really good, especially if you are someone who struggles to meet deadlines or complete projects. But precrastination also has its challenges… like not getting hung up in my own plans and schedules to the degree that I forget what is actually reasonable or needed for the true timeline of a project based on external deadlines or the level of quality I want to achieve.
One of my superpowers is that I know how long it takes me to complete things. I’ve built enough websites to know that I could complete this project pretty easily with a week of dedicated attention to it in the evenings and over a weekend.
But this week is not that week. And this weekend is not that weekend.
What a relief it has been to remove this project off my list, at least for now. I didn’t realize how much it was churning in the background of my brain. Giving myself permission to not think about it yet has freed up my mental energy to be used elsewhere with projects that are a bit more urgent.
To think on:
- Do you ever precrastinate?
- What can you intentionally procrastinate on to clear some brain space for current projects?