Asker Potrait
Anonymous asked

How do you overcome procrastination?

dianakimball answered

To overcome procrastination, I do a whole lot of timeboxing. Timeboxing is where you set a timer for a certain amount of time and stay focused on the dreaded task until the timer goes off. My favorite desktop timer is called Timebar; I sang its praises in my interview for The Setup.

24hourbookclub:

We’ll wake up first thing in the morning, crack open our copies of The Hotel Eden, and start tweeting up a storm using our usual #24hourbookclub hashtag. We’ll be looking out for your tweets, too, and reading them between chapters. 

24-Hour Bookclub is one of my favorite things, and our next literary flashmob is around the corner! Join us on Saturday, June 7th for a marathon reading of Ron Carlson’s The Hotel Eden.
Step 1: Get the book. Step 2: Follow @24hourbookclub​ on Twitter. Step 3: Wake up on Saturday morning and read like there’s no tomorrow. Step 4: Tweet (and Tumbl!) all about it. :)
hope to see you soon— Diana

24hourbookclub:

We’ll wake up first thing in the morning, crack open our copies of The Hotel Eden, and start tweeting up a storm using our usual #24hourbookclub hashtag. We’ll be looking out for your tweets, too, and reading them between chapters. 

24-Hour Bookclub is one of my favorite things, and our next literary flashmob is around the corner! Join us on Saturday, June 7th for a marathon reading of Ron Carlson’s The Hotel Eden.

Step 1: Get the book.
Step 2: Follow @24hourbookclub​ on Twitter.
Step 3: Wake up on Saturday morning and read like there’s no tomorrow.
Step 4: Tweet (and Tumbl!) all about it. :)

hope to see you soon—
Diana

Just remembered this collage, which I love. Last summer, my friend Jia invited me to participate in an interview series called “Give Inspiration” that she helped put together for Givology, an education non-profit. We met up in NYC and spoke for a while about some of the people and projects that inspire me; a few months later, a snappy 96-second video went up.
But the project had a second part, too. Over the course of coordinating the interview, Jia asked for some words and images connected to my sources of inspiration. Then, an artist named Tori Rafael created this collage based on those words. Looking at the end result gives me a Reading Rainbow-like sense of endless possibility.
Thanks to Jia, Tori, and Givology for letting me be a part of this.

Just remembered this collage, which I love. Last summer, my friend Jia invited me to participate in an interview series called “Give Inspiration” that she helped put together for Givology, an education non-profit. We met up in NYC and spoke for a while about some of the people and projects that inspire me; a few months later, a snappy 96-second video went up.

But the project had a second part, too. Over the course of coordinating the interview, Jia asked for some words and images connected to my sources of inspiration. Then, an artist named Tori Rafael created this collage based on those words. Looking at the end result gives me a Reading Rainbow-like sense of endless possibility.

Thanks to Jia, Tori, and Givology for letting me be a part of this.

No More Forever Projects

It took me a long time to see past forever projects.

I told myself that making promises gave beginnings gravity. I labeled my newsletter a “lifelong project” not long after I started it. I called /mentoring a “movement” the day I announced it. Commitment marked a project as something worth talking about, I thought. This was how I would give my ideas escape velocity.

Escape velocity came, but at a cost. No amount of attention could spur perpetual motion. Once I’d set every expectation of permanence, disappointment loomed and glowered; inevitable.

Eventually, I started asking myself: why am I promising permanence? The answer crept up on me: because permanence is better than nothing. Without the momentum of obligation, I didn’t trust myself to begin anything in earnest.

The thing is, it never worked. The half-life of obligation is short; the half-life of guilt is long. Promises never saved one of my side projects, but they clogged many nights and weekends with the gunk of regret. Something had to change.

My friend Jamie Wilkinson once told me about a decision he’d made. No more forever projects, he said. From now on, every project is one-time-only. Treat beginnings like endings: celebrate them, document them, let someone else pick up where you leave off. If the project’s worth repeating, there’s nothing to say you can’t still be the standard-bearer. But at least it’s a choice. By ending well, you give yourself the freedom to begin again.

These days, all my projects start as experiments. No forceful promises, no forever projects. Gravity seeps into the things that stick around.

Originally published on The Pastry Box.

Recommendations

An expanded excerpt from the latest Expert Novice newsletter.

Music: Blue Film, by Lo-Fang, is my favorite album right now. After falling hard for his sound, I learned that he opened for Lorde on tour—of course! This song by Ann & Bones is haunting, too. And Panama’s performance at SXSW was my favorite by far; listen to the lead track from their sophomore album, “Always.”

Books: Show Your Work!, Austin Kleon’s latest, is essential reading for basically everyone. The Goldfinch was worth it—“both beautiful and unselfconscious-until-the-last-50-pages-or-so,” as I told a friendRadical Acceptance and What We Say Matters are two books I keep returning to. Blockbusters blew my mind.

iPhone Games: Threes is “a tiny puzzle that grows on you,” specifically designed to hook lovers of Drop7. Mission accomplished. Monument Valley is a gorgeous adventure inspired by Myst, Zelda, and M.C. Escher. I finished it in a night and wished it would last forever.

Products: Europe got us hooked on sparkling water, so Erik did some research and got the Mastrad Purefizz soda siphon for carbonating tap water at home. I love it to pieces. After a long quest for the perfect laptop messenger bag, I’m very happy with this one from InCase. SaneBox is a service that automatically clears your inbox of everything you wouldn’t have answered anyway. It’s so accurate and so invaluable that I shudder to think of ever losing it. And a meta-recommendation: if you’re looking to make a tech or home purchase of any kind, The Wirecutter and The Sweet Home will never steer you wrong.

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