Do You Plan or Procrastinate?

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I'll be honest, I always wait until the last minute to do anything. That's how I did my best work in high school and college, and it's how I generally do things now, as a blogger. I'm too emotional, and like to take advantage of what I'm feeling in the moment – inspiration – to write or create content. Incidentally, it's also why I'm a BAD packer; I like to get dressed in the morning based on what I FEEL like wearing, so I chronically over-pack, bringing everything I could possibly want to wear with me.

Being a procrastinator is tough though. I waited until the day it was due to write this post. And as I was sitting at the emergency vet with my dog at 3 AM the previous morning trying to keep my mind off of my sick dog, I was also stressing about what to write about. And then it hit me – procrastination!

We've all done it, right? Whether it's producing content, implementing a blog redesign, reaching out to potential partners, we put things off, waiting for THE RIGHT MOMENT to get them done. I honestly don't see a problem with my procrastination, because I ultimately get things done (and very well, actually – I always got excellent grades on papers, etc., I finished up right before turning them in!), but it can be a bit of a bother if you work with other people, or are married (!). And, it is definitely a problem if you don't ever get the thing done that you need to get done.

If you're a serial procrastinator, I think it's key to find the balance between planning and procrastination:

Procrastination is why I can't have an editorial calendar for my blog (who knows what I'll want to write about next month??), but planning is what allows me to come up with general ideas of things I'd LIKE to write about during the coming month.

Procrastination allows me to fill in the details when it's time, but planning is where the general outline comes from.

Procrastination keeps me from over-analyzing, over-editing, and thinking too much about the final result, but planning my time correctly allows me to be prepared.

In general, I try to plan the month ahead and write down ideas, and whatever comes to my mind for posts or content on my blogs. That way I'm not at a complete loss when the time comes to actually write. I also set aside specific times the days that things are due to work on them, and a deadline to have them completed. Which is not to say that I always have a “plan” in place for the month – a lot of the time I don't – but I do have a general idea bank in my head for just such occasions. And enough experience to know that I can get the work done.

I like to procrastinate. I like to write when I'm inspired, about whatever I'm “feeling” at the moment. If I feel like posting about my search for a long black dress, I want to be able to do it; I don't want to have to write about something else because that's what I've scheduled. Again, this works for me, because I don't do a lot of partnerships and/or sponsored posts that have to go up at certain times, but it may not work for you. You will probably have to find a better balance between your tendency to procrastinate and your NEED to plan. Heck, most of the time I think I need to do better at that.

As a blogger, whether you do it full-time or not, it's up to you to manage your time. You may have projects due, posts to write, pictures to take, but it's all up to you when you get them done. Enjoy your freedom to procrastinate, but don't let it get away from you all the time.

What about you? are you a procrastinator or a planner? Have you gone from being a procrastinator to a planner over time? Any tips? 😉

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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20 Responses

  1. Ashley Robison

    Oh Grechen! Sometimes I think we’re two sides of the same blogger coin. As a blogger, I’m a procrastinator. And it makes sense – I started my blog while working a slow full-time job, so I wrote when I had the time. Then I moved into a busy & active full-time (plus) job… and wrote when I had the time. An editorial calendar has never done anything but made me feel guilty.

    A planner… that’s a great way to describe me. And in many areas of life, I’m NOT a procrastinator. But my blog was built on it and the ease it gave me to accommodate my blog with life.

    Reply
    • Grechen Reiter

      yes! an editorial calendar always makes me feel guilty…just like to-do lists 🙂 i’m obviously not much of a planner. but i’d like to be better at it. i’m trying!!

      Reply
  2. Onianwah

    I am both – a planner and a procrastinator. I do both of them easily, well and fluidly and I am torn between whether to tilt more towards being a fully fledged planner (which I have reasoned is way better but I am too lazy to do *grin) and being a fully fledged procrastinator (which I have also reasoned is bad for me as it encourages me to be lazy and leave things for the eleventh hour. This is how I passed all my exams too Grechen)

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com
    Lagos, Nigeria

    Reply
    • Grechen Reiter

      barbara – i always did so well on exams, papers, etc., that i studied for or wrote at the last “minute” – perhaps i could have saved myself some last minute stress by doing them earlier, but i don’t know if i would have performed better on them.

      i’d ultimately like to tip the scales a bit and become more of a planner than a procrastinator though.

      Reply
  3. Monique

    Thank your for helping me to feel better about myself, lol! I’m an overachiever so my procrastination is in the form of “I can’t start this until I’ll have enough time to complete it!” or “It’s not ready yet until it’s perfect!” Slowly I’m realizing that I need to just plan things ahead of time, get things done and over with and move on to the next. Procrastination really slows progress!

    Monique, The Flair Society

    Reply
  4. Jill

    You’ve written a nice article! 🙂
    Anyway I’m definitely a procrastinator.. but possibly the worst kind.
    I procrastinate right up the last moment but in the mean time I worry about it all the time. So I’m actually just wasting time worrying about the work that needs to be done instead of using my procrastination for something fun..

    Reply
  5. Irina Dorn

    This is a great one! thank you for sharing, so many guilty conscious moments were spent thinking i should be more prepared. although I do plan, I find myself not stick to a schedule. I always get upset at myself for it but now I realize i’d rather write when i’m inspired and produce heartfelt content than stay on schedule just because that’s what you are suppose to do.
    After all, your readers don’t care about your schedule, they care about what you go through on the daily bases!

    On the side note, hope your dog is feeling better!

    xoxo,
    Irina
    http://www.brandnamesus.com

    Reply
  6. Ana

    I suffer procrastination anxiety, so I get nervous if i don´t do the things but at the same time is hard for me to do what i know i need to do. My recommendation is to do the things the faster you can´t and forget about deadlines.
    LAZYCATSTYLE

    Reply
  7. New Complaint

    I plan way ahead. I have all my posts scheduled to come out days in advanced and I make drafts of things I plan to write the second I think of it!

    Reply
  8. Candice Shaw

    I’m SUCH a procrastinator lol. That’s why it’s perfect that I work for myself.

    Reply
  9. Mel BumbleBee

    I write my ideas down in my little notebook and I arrange planned posts on a calendar for every month. When it comes to make the photos or write the posts … then I be a procastinator. Last minute panic is my motor. This is what pushes me.
    There are these days when I don’t finish a post and put that little post-it from the calendar, feeling sad about it. The plan pressures me. But without it, my blog would be like a blank sheet. I just need that last minute panic to get my arse up. *blushes*

    ♡ Mel xoxo

    Reply
  10. Rebecca for TRENDENEUR

    I’m having so much problem with this! I am such a procrastinator and guess what brought me to IFB and eventually reading this post….. PROCRASTINATION. I know I need to write a post but I just not motivated to do it at this moment because I am just not inspired enough to do it..! So talk about suiting article for my day.

    Reply
  11. Lisa

    omg, I feel like this post was tailored, written and posted for me! I am the exact same person and have been struggling lately with the notion of planning ahead as a blogger. However, for reason expressed above- I am happy procrastinating, and for reasons mentioned only work well by doing so.
    Thank you for understanding the beauty of spontaneity. But I do absolutely agree in some balance.

    Lisa, Xx

    Reply
  12. S

    When I read this, I thought, OMG are you writing about me? I can see everybody can relate to this and feels the same. It made me feel so good… Keep up the good work!
    Svet

    Reply
  13. Evan

    I procrastinate but the stress of doing so actually has thinking of ideas almost subconsciously until I start working on something. It sounds kind of silly but a lot of my best ideas have come while essentially waiting to do something =).

    Reply
  14. Sheryl Blasnik

    Have to laugh – I launched the IFB site and decided to see what new articles were posted because right now I am procrastinating writing a blog post. It is a rainy and lazy Sunday and easier to lay in bed with my IPad than sit at my desk. So Guilty… Sign me up for the Procrastination Club.

    Sheryl
    Fashion Development Group

    Reply
  15. Tara Daigle

    I swear that first paragraph came directly from my life to your finger tips! Good post! I agree that procrastination isn’t ALL bad!

    XO
    Tara

    Reply