Some of you may have noticed that posts have been coming a little less frequently around here. Over the past few months I’ve moved from every weekday, to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, to just Monday and Friday, in order to better accommodate my schedule (and to avoid burning myself out on writing this blog, which is something I think we’d all like to avoid). New posts generally go up between the hours of 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.
As I write this sentence, the current time is 11:19 AM on Friday morning, and I’m just now sitting down to write this out. Have I taken leave of my senses? Well, no, not exactly. It was done intentionally.
Today’s post, as you no doubt surmised from reading the title, is on procrastination, and it was intentionally written at the last minute to prove a point. That point is this:
This was a really bad idea.
By leaving writing this post until the last minute, I’ve left myself without the time to sit down, gather my thoughts, and lay out a good message for everyone. I don’t have time to create an outline. To structure my post with a good beginning, middle, and end (as all writing, creative or otherwise, should be). I’m pretty much just writing off the top of my head, in the hopes that what ends up coming out properly conveys the point I’m trying to get across. I also don’t have time to make any real effort to work in little callbacks to previous posts I think you’ll find helpful when taken together with the day’s topic. At this point it’s been a pretty long time since I started my blog, and digging through it (even with the search feature) takes quite a bit of time. Time that, because I left this ’til the last minute, I just don’t have.
Reading that back, it comes across like I’m whining about my self-imposed lack of time to properly write a post. I’m actually proving my point. Look at it this way. By leaving this post until the last minute, with no time to outline, edit, or work in links to prior articles (or helpful ones elsewhere), the quality of my posts suffers. The quality of my work suffers. What if this had been a project I had to complete for a client? I would’ve had no choice but turn in a piece of work that was sub-par, or ask for a deadline extension. The latter does happen, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as the end result is worth it, but not when the only reason for it is because you just didn’t feel like working until an hour before your deadline. The former, on the other hand, is completely unacceptable and 100% detrimental to maximizing your Personal Independent Earnings (I’m glad I managed to at least work that one in). Never turn in sub-par work to a client. Ever. Unless you hate money, in which case, by all means, feel free. If I have to explain any further why turning in shoddy work is going to end up costing you money, you’re probably not cut out to run a business.
Now, this is my personal blog. It’s on my personal website. So you would think that by leaving this post until the last minute, I’m only really hurting myself (and you, my loyal readers. Sorry about that, I assure you it was for a good cause). That’s actually not true either. There’s actually a chain involving several of my team members, to ensure that each post is the best it can possibly be (and to free up some of my time, I am a pretty busy man). I do the writing. A member of my team does another round of editing to make sure everything flows well and there are no spelling or grammatical errors that I missed. Another team member adds the images that appear on most of my posts (and does an excellent job, this one still cracks me up). Another team member optimizes each post for search engines like Google and Bing. Each one of my posts passes through four sets of hands (including my own) on its way from me to you, and this one is no different.
Or it wouldn’t be, if I hadn’t left it until the last minute, leaving the rest of my team no time for their contributions. Another round of edits (especially in a post that at this exact point is hitting the 750 word mark) can take a long time. Searching out a fitting image can take even longer. Proper SEO doesn’t necessarily take a long time, but even the time it does take, is more than what’s available. So now not only have I affected the quality of my work, but I’ve left other people hanging unable to complete theirs.
On what planet was this a good idea?
I hope this little experiment of mine has taught you all a valuable lesson. Procrastination is a very bad move for any business, employee, or, well, anyone really. I’m not saying you have to rush to complete every single task immediately (that’s not really the best of ideas either), but don’t leave things until the absolute last minute either. If you do, your work suffers, your team suffers, your clients suffer, and as an end result, your PIE suffers. That’s an awful lot of suffering for a few extra hours of leisure time. In the end, is it really worth it? Or is that saying the Internet has popularized about procrastination and a word that rhymes with it true? I’ll leave that for you to decide.