I Have a Procrastination Problem

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7


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I have a procrastination problem.

I mean let’s be honest, don’t we all?

There are many different types of procrastinators. Sometimes we procrastinate because we’re tired, or don’t like the task at hand. Other times it’s because we’re perfectionists and want every last detail to be absolutely perfect. We might be afraid of success, or afraid of failure. Maybe we’re just lazy.

For me, I’m a stress procrastinator.

Drum Tower

Let’s procrastinate by exploring my neighborhood

The More Stress, the More Procrastination

What’s a “stress and overwhelm” procrastinator? Well, the more things I have on my to-do list, the more I freak out and put everything off. Then I wait until the last possible second, and somehow manage to get everything done at the expense of sleep, health, and my sanity.

It seems kind of counter-intuitive, right? When I have a million things to do, all I really want is to take a nap on the couch or watch Mr. Robot with a glass of wine.

When I open my inbox to a million emails, I think, “You know, this is the perfect time to get caught up on the US Presidential election!”

This Beijing Life

Almost as stressful as getting this MA degree

This 10-Day Challenge is a Killer

Seriously. I can barely write a post a week, let alone a post every day! This week has been extremely stressful. I hosted a blogger in Beijing during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, I have a freelancing assignment due tomorrow, my college counseling inbox is overflowing, I’m leaving for a press trip tomorrow night, and I still need to get business cards for TBEX.

I need to write about VPNs and internet censorship, my experience at last year’s TBEX, and my staycation at the Sheraton, as well as this awesome sports bikini. But of course, I can’t write about the bikini until I get pictures of myself in a bikini, which means I need to be in a cool location in said bikini… and how can I take a picture of myself in a swimsuit until I lose weight?!

Congratulations, now you know why I have two gray hairs. 

Master's dissertation


Finding an Imperfect Action

A few days ago, I talked about how difficult it is to manage a decently successful blog with a full-time job. People assume I’m a full-time blogger, but in reality, I spend all day in the office as a Chinese college counselor. In that post, I talked about my 20 Minute success plan for managing my time with two jobs.

Well, today I’ll be touching on a similar topic, which is a daily “imperfect action” to combat procrastination. What’s an imperfect action? Instead of creating huge, unobtainable and overwhelming goals for yourself, you’ll actually get more done if you work on things step-by-step in a daily “imperfect” way.

This imperfect action combats perfectionist procrastinators, as well as the overwhelm procrastinators like me!

Vietnamese coffee

I’m gonna need some coffee for this

My Imperfect Action

This 10-Day challenge has actually been great for my procrastination. I’m the type of person that needs to be busy and have strict deadlines, otherwise, I’ll never get anything done!

In order to combat my overwhelm, I’ve come up with two daily imperfect actions: one for my business life and one for my health and sanity.

Advanced Certification Malapascua

Partnering with Fun and Sun for my advanced diving certificate

My Business and Blog

Rather than getting overwhelmed with a  huge, long to-do list, I’m going to create a list of deadlines and assign myself one major task every day. It might be writing a blog post, scheduling Pinterest pins for the week, or maybe working on my Media Kit. Whatever it is, I’ll use my “20 Minute Zero Distractions” time to complete that task.

If I get the task done or still feel “in the zone”, I’ll try it out with a secondary task. But if I feel tired and overwhelmed, I’ll give myself a break. I feel like this is much more achievable than looking at a huge to-do list with a million things I’ll never get done. At least this way I’ll be able to chip away at the list every day, rather than wasting time stressing and procrastinating.

Diva Cup review

Gotta relax sometimes

My Health and Sanity

I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’m making a huge effort to get healthy now that I work in an office. It’s so easy to sit too much, drink too much and eat an unhealthy diet. Back in Ningbo, I danced multiple days a week and often ate veggies and fish. Now in Beijing, I eat way more oil and heavy foods, and I sit on my butt all day. Instead of going out salsa dancing, or dancing with friends at a bar, I mainly sit and drink instead.

To combat this, I’ve joined a gym, tried doing workout classes on my laptop, started going to salsa classes, and I’ve made an effort to cook more. But sometimes this can all be overwhelming, and it’s easy to put off exercise when I put too much pressure on myself.

Well, for my daily “imperfect action”, I’ve decided to do some form of exercise every day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. I’ll either go to the gym, go salsa dancing, or do yoga or dance workout videos on my computer. If I’m really exhausted, I’ll at least meditate and do a few yoga, poses to improve my health.

Hopefully, this will at least keep me healthy and active without being overwhelming.

Chinese woman taking photo of animal

Hey look! A turtle!

What’s your “imperfect action”? I’m curious to see what you all come up with! 



About Richelle

Expat, traveler, and spicy food lover, I've spent the last few years living in China and traveling around Asia. In my spare time I enjoy salsa dancing, exploring night markets and stuffing my face with street food.

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