Every human being suffers from procrastinating! Some more than others, but I happen to be a black belt in the field! Of course, I disguise it as excuses, such as:
· I have to clean my house! It’s disgusting! I can’t write in an environment like this! Cluttered space = cluttered brain!
· I have so many errands I have to do! I need groceries! I can’t write without food! I have to go to the post office! Oh crap! I really need Q-tips! I better go out and get some. Just think how much easier it will be to write, if I don’t have to think about all the errands I have to run!
· That Battlestar Gallactica poster I got as a present has been in a tube since Christmas. I really need to get a frame and hang it on my wall. You know, for inspiration!
All lies! This is a masterful way of procrastinating, convincing yourself that certain things have to get done in order for you to do your work. What’s funny is that you end up doing way more work than you would have if you just would have sat down and did whatever it was you were trying to avoid!
So what do I do?
I admit, I give in to the Procrastination-Monster more often than I care to admit.
But mostly, I’ve learned to defeat the beast. Mostly.
Here are 3 ways I use to stop procrastination in its tracks:
1) Reward system.
This works wonders for me! I think of something I really, really, really want to do, whether it’s a TV show I haven’t watched yet, or the next chapter of a book I’m currently reading. Then I set up a system for the day such as: For every 1,000 words of writing I can watch one show or read one chapter. Whatever the reward is though, it has be something so tempting that it forces you to get your work done!
Sprints are another great tool to break out of procrastination-mode. If you’re a writer, you simply pick a chunk of time, even 10 minutes can be extremely beneficial. Set your timer and ready, set, go! Write for the full 10 minutes. I usually do hour sprints because it’s enough time to crank out at least 500 words depending on how my creative juices are flowing.
By doing sprints, it jolts your brain out of making excuses. Everyone has 10 minutes to spare. And even if you only work for those 10 minutes, you’ll still feel a million percent better for having done it.
3) Accountability Partner.
This works for almost everything! Having someone who is going through the same avoidance-of-work issues you are helps immensely. From arranging sprints during the day, to meeting up to work together can break you out of the procrastination cycle.
I’m lucky and have several people I can call on to help me through my writing droughts. Just by having another person cheer you on and help you focus can jump-start your brain to where it needs to be to accomplish your task!
These 3 things work best for me! What do you do to tame the Procrastination-Beast?
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I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)