In high school, I was a model student, but the minute I set foot on the streets of Foggy Bottom, I got the itch, the procrastination itch. If you’re like me, you know this itch well. You feel it every time you have to take something to the post office, have to do laundry or something as simple as emptying the dishwasher.
In college, I made it my unofficial mission to master the art of procrastination, and my biggest triumph came during my sophomore year at GW. I was taking English 10, the GCR that changed my life (really, it did… because of it I love reading biographies), and I was working on my final paper. It was an unholy 15pgs double-spaced and I did everything under the sun but sit down and right that paper. It was the night before the paper was due and I was on page one. No problem, right?
Black Eyed Peas came to campus that night… I think we can guess what I did. I went to the concert, had an amazing time, got back to my room around 1am, pumped out 15pgs of one of the best papers I ever wrote, collapsed at 630am, jumped up with just enough time to sprint through the streets of Foggy Bottom, drop off the paper and go back to sleep.
There were many more stories like this, but all (well…most) of my procrastinating days ended when I entered the world of PR full time. People say Content is King. If content is King, then deadlines are Aces. Damned is the PR pro who misses deadlines. For this reason, I’ve learned to control my procrastination…by scheduling time for it.
Sitting at a desk for 8 to 9 to 10 hrs a day can make the day hard to get through, and with all the distractions of the internet (right now twitter is my main addiction), it’s hard to stay focused. In order to pump out the press releases, pitch, monitor blogs, edit podcasts and stay sane, I declare HPHs or High Productivity Hours. For example, if I need to get a report out by 4, I’ll declare 2 to 4 high productivity hours. That means no gchat, limited email responses, and only 2 or 3 glances at twitter (This is case by case though…there may be some good tweets…). When its not a high productivity hour, I am open to anything. So far, this system works for me. If you’ve got a system that works for you, let me know.