The one lesson I've learned from life: Comedian Katy Brand says putting things off is a recipe for stress

Katy Brand, 42, who lives in London, is best known for her show on ITVComedian admits she was a terrible procrastinator when younger She has become more measured about how she works since getting older

Actress and comedian Katy Brand, 42, is best known for Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show on IT V. She has also written two memoirs and a novel. She is based in London with her husband, an ex-lawyer, and son, six. She also has a stepdaughter, 22.

I was a terrible procrastinator when younger. I loved the adrenaline of leaving everything to the last minute and staying up all night to meet deadlines. It was like a weird dare I set myself. But, I realised I was living in a permanent state of adrenalised chaos. It was probably related to performing and stand-up comedy — that sense of nearly failing and then pulling it back. Sometimes I didn’t pull it back, I really did fail.

As I got older, I had to admit my body just wasn’t up to dealing with that every day. You get ill and your immune system doesn’t function as well. Now I’m more measured about how I work. There’s a real pleasure in doing something properly, in the right amount of time.

Katy Brand, 42, (pictured) who lives in London, revealed how she stopped being a procrastinator who leaves everything to the last minute

Katy Brand, 42, (pictured) who lives in London, revealed how she stopped being a procrastinator who leaves everything to the last minute

I love Mary Poppins’s maxim: ‘Well begun is half done’. If you make a good start then no chore is this terrible looming thing that you dread, and have to rush to finish. Make your bed, make the nursery tidy, have an ordered house.

Running my own routine each day makes me realise the value of getting up at a set time, having a shower and eating breakfast, before starting to work.

As a writer, I like my desk to be clear of anything apart from my computer. When I was younger, piles of stuff were everywhere. Now I do my paperwork really early in the morning rather than sitting around thinking about it for six hours.

I clear up as I go along and we do the dishwasher before we go to bed.

No longer being a procrastinator has made me happier and more productive. When I finished my first book, I wrote a script on spec about two people in a hotel room. It has just been filmed as Good Luck To You, Leo Grande with Emma Thompson. It would never have happened with my old way of working.

If you can spend a bit of time making your environment, or your mind, ordered, then you’ll have a lot more room for something more spontaneous and even a bit anarchic, actually.

Practically Perfect: Life Lessons From Mary Poppins by Katy Brand (£9.99, HQ) is out now. 

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