Monday, January 20, 2014

Self-Intervention: Goodbye, Procrastination

Blocked. As an artist, it’s not a word that I like to be associated with, but it is perhaps the best word that describes the state of my creativity of late. It’s not that I’m completely blocked, or that I’ve stopped creating altogether. I just haven’t been satisfied with my progress. It’s frustrating because I’m not advancing at the rate I feel I should, or could. There are a number of factors contributing to this my day job where I shift frequently between time zones, familial obligations, and a need to (despite throwing up resistance at every turn) rest.
It is time for an intervention, so here’s what I’m going to try …
No TV between 8:30 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. That’s not an arbitrary selection. My partner likes to watch Breakfast Television while getting ready for work in the morning. He’s out of the condo by 8:30 and back shortly after 18:00, and likes to then watch the news. Part of our together-time in the evening (when I’m home) is watching TV or a movie together. Up until I moved to Toronto in March 2013, I had been without cable for almost five years. Since arriving in Toronto, TV has been a distraction. If I can be successful at keeping the TV off during the specified timeframe, I should be able to make lots of progress on my artistic projects.
Spend one hour a day on social media. This includes Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, as well as e-mail and internet news sites. Social media is a great tool that helps me to promote myself and my works, and to connect with my readers, friends and family. But it’s too easy (to the point of it feeling like an “obsession”) to always want to check out what’s happening in that online world. Heaven forbid that I should miss something important. Social media is, at the moment, more of a distraction that I cannot afford.
Start running again. Call it laziness, lack of motivation, scheduling conflicts, etc., I haven’t been out for a run since the end of October. There’s a perfectly good gym in my condo building, so if I’m not going to get outside for a run, I can go to the gym and run on the treadmill. To begin, I will aim for a run outside or at the gym) twice a week.
Holding Myself to Account
To recap, I’ve set three challenges for myself:
  1. No TV between 8:30 and 18:00, Monday to Friday;
  2. Spend one hour a day on social media; and
  3. Start running again.
I know myself, and despite my best intentions, I’m going to need a way to stay motivated. This is what I have in mind. I’ve placed a small jar on the shelving unit in the living room. Each time I falter I don’t go for a run, I turn on the TV when I’m not supposed to, and/or I spend more than one hour a day on social media I’ll put a loonie (one-dollar coin) in the jar.
If I’m successful in meeting these challenges, there shouldn’t be any money in the jar at the end of each week. That is the hope. I’m trying to get my groove back, and maybe this will help me do just that.


  1. Those are great goals! Good luck!

  2. Thanks. So far (day two) it's going well and my productivity has increased significantly.