Last Monday I talked about finishing. So after you’ve finished – what do you do next?

Do you push on straight to your next project, or what?

Hammock and beach

Procrastinating or pausing?

I once invited psychologist Andrea Perry to come to talk to our writers at ScreenLab about procrastination. Andrea has written one of the best books on how we procrastinate and how not to – Isn’t it About Time?

And yes, I’ve heard all the jokes, and yes I did get round to reading it…

Andrea made one point that really struck home for me. She says there are five stages in any piece of work – and thus five places you can procrastinate. I knew the first four: Becoming Aware; Exploring and Experimenting; Choosing and Getting Involved; and of course Finishing.

I’ll talk more about these in the future.

But equally important, she says, is the fifth: Pausing and Reflecting.

I realised immediately that this was a big one for me. It was always my habit to rush forwards. No sooner had I finished one script than I started the next.

The problem is, if you put off pausing, you give yourself no chance to look back and consider what you have achieved and what you have learned. You risk, as I did, rushing off and making the same mistakes, failing to advance or improve as fast as you could.

If you stop and reflect, you give yourself a chance to deepen that learning, to celebrate the good things you’ve done and – yes – accept the parts that maybe weren’t as good as you’d hoped. You let go fully. And allow yourself to develop and move forwards.

So don’t procrastinate about pausing. Start pausing this very moment.

I am – I’m off on holiday. Have a great couple of weeks and see you when I’m back.