Why I stopped procrastinating…

Hi, I'm Deidre. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a web copywriter, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and what I’m learning as I go (with Marketing Mentor as my guide).

In high school and college, I waited until the last minute to do everything. I was a major procrastinator—and somehow, I always pulled it off. 

When I started working in corporate-land, the habits stuck with me. I waited until something was due—then busted it out. I always pulled it off. 

But once I started working for myself, procrastinating became extremely stressful. Even the smallest project would seem increasingly enormous as the due date got closer. I think I was waiting for a burst of magic or inspiration—and the days of non-action made the project feel ever more insurmountable. 

Yes, in the end, I always got it done. But I was under duress. In life, my approach has always tended towards all-or-nothing. I’ve always been happier when I take a more balanced approach—but I could never quite adopt new, healthier habits, until self-employment taught me. (I never expected what a life-altering teacher self-employment would be, in so many areas.) 

I realized I don’t need a burst of magic. I’m better when there’s room to breathe and the creative space doesn’t have so much pressure on it. 

As soon as I get a project, I:

  • Jot down ideas, thoughts, potential headlines – right away
  • Give the client a lenient deadline
  • Work a bit each day, even for 5 minutes 

When I work on a project over a number of days, in short segments, it becomes so much more manageable. I trust that with time, it will get there. I stopped needing time’s gun pointed at my head. Thank you, self-employment. My blood pressure appreciates this lesson. (A great way to learn from self-employment is by attending the Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston!) 

Are you a reformed procrastinator? What other lessons has self-employment taught you?