Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

By Kathryn Lang

The New Year sparked a strong desire to get order out in front and secure the defeat of procrastination for life. I invested in a new wall calendar for the family and a new refill calendar for my day runner. My plan included a rock solid schedule for my family that would make room for expanding my writing career.

My goal has been to nail the schedule for just 21 days. I know that if that can be accomplished then the schedule will become a habit. It took a lot of pushing and clawing to get through the first week, but we made it – and my writing was taking shape.

No matter how hard you try, the sheer mention of a winter snow storm in North Alabama brings every good intention to a screaming halt. Instead of focusing the weekend on my writing, it was spent preparing for what was to come. And it did come. Six and half inches of snow and sleet coated the world and in response the world (in our little corner) came to a standstill.

Frozen in, and watching the kids have a blast in the snow, I was determined more than ever to get my focus back on track. I had a deadline and knew that writing was a requirement and not an option. The project was due and I would NOT ask for an extension.

During a break in my marathon, I flipped over to the communications I had been having with the client. That is when I saw the magic words – due on the 15th.

My plans of organization really had worked. Here it was, a full five days before the project was due, and I was on the verge of getting it done. Even through snow, football, and the evil tauntings of procrastination, I had made the choice to do what I knew to do and that was providing the desired results.

The reprieve does nothing to slow my determination, but it does give me a chance to enjoy this rare opportunity in the South.

How I Defeated Procrastination

1.    I changed my words. It was normal for me to admit that I procrastinated and I had even crowned myself queen. I now refuse that label. I am organized. I am ahead. I am prepared.

2.    I changed my actions. I use to look at what others were doing to determine what I would do. Now I am just looking at my to-do list and making that my guide. It turns out that the more I do then the more that gets done.

3.    I changed my deadlines. Getting to an appointment on schedule often requires leaving with enough time to allow for traffic problems or other issues. I have started doing the same thing with my writing. Setting my deadlines several days ahead allows for those unexpected events (like a snow storm in North Alabama) and still gets me to the destination on time.

Looking at that due date exited me. I enjoy the feeling of being ahead and no amount of procrastination calls will get me to turn around!

Thanks to for permission to use his great cartoon.


  1. Would anyone like to borrow my book "The Procrastinator's Guide to Success" - I haven't read it yet! Thanks for the encouragement K.L.

  2. Kathryn, This is my New Year's resolution, too. I want to be more deliberate about setting time aside to write and actually writing. Thanks for the inspiration that if I push though and make it a habit, it gets easier.

  3. Hey Shelly - sorry I missed your post - it seems that just when you set your mind in one direction the world throws its whole arsenal at you.

    My husband had shoulder surgery and could not even use his right arm for a whole week. Two days into that the kids started the yuck rotation - the two older ones mostly fend for themselves, but by the weekend the youngest was having issues.

    The same yuck knocked me down for about two weeks - and I NEVER get sick.

    But . . . I have learned that defeating procrastination starts with the realization that I will never get back yesterday - so I start each day new.