The temptation to procrastinate is one of the biggest millstones to any writer.
When I need to write is precisely when the mood strikes to clean my house, or pay my bills. And yet when I need to clean or pay bills, I bemoan the fact that I need to write. This inner turmoil can swallow up all my writing time.
What is it with us writer-types that we can’t get it together? Will someone please make up my mind???
I’ve spent too much time trying to remove the procrastination habit from its comfortable position around my neck. So here’s some ideas I use to stuff his mouth, leaving me free to get things done.
- Decide to make today my day for giving up my membership in the procrastinator’s club.
- Come up with creative ways to make the work fun. (Sometimes I make little competitions with myself. It may sound silly, but it works for me).
- Define procrastination. According to Dr. Bill Knaus, “It’s an automatic habit leading to a needless delay of a timely, relevant, priority activity until another day or time. In brief, you procrastinate when you habitually put off a timely activity with a deadline, or where needless delays can affect your health, happiness, effectiveness, relationships, sense of worth, or other important personal matters.”
- Decide to focus on what is meaningful or important to do.
- Imagine what the future will look like if you get to work. Now imagine the consequences if you don’t.
- Prepare everything you can in advance, so you don’t allow yourself the excuse or distraction of getting things ready.
- Allow yourself timed breaks. This gives you something to look forward to, and keeps you from straying too long.
- Sit my behind in a seat in front of a keyboard until I write SOMETHING!
By using these little tricks, it keeps me moving forward, one word at a time. Until finally, I clamp procrastination’s mouth shut, and another project is finished.
Don’t let the Procrastination Boogie-Man swallow your writing time. How have you closed his mouth?
Nothing feels better than typing — THE END!
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her family.Contact her via www.freshstartfreshfaith.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
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