Enjoy this list of quick “first-aid” tips designed to help you overcome procrastination, no matter what stage you’re at in your writing career.
1. Don’t Call It “Procrastination”
What is it about what you’re doing that’s wasting your time? Get specific. Once it has a name, it’s easier to stop yourself from doing it. Example: “I’m checking email when I should be writing website copy.”
2. Face Your Fear
“Little brains,” as they say in Albert Brooks’ movie Defending Your Life, “spend all their time dealing with fear.” Fear is a subconscious response to a host of different situations you might face. But progress is overcoming fear, and finding positive ways to move forward. You’d be surprised by what you could do if you’d just get started.
3. Define Your Desires
Maybe, deep down, you know that what you’re SUPPOSED to do is a real waste of time. Stop for a second to decide, definitively, if this is the project for you. It’s good to say “yes” often. But not always. And not blindly. Make sure you know what your priorities are and take action that supports these priorities.
4. Make It Fun
If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it will be an uphill battle to get it done. Take writing, for example. I like writing (especially promo writing), because I always learn something new and interesting when I do it — and, for me, learning is fun.
5. Act on Insights
The curse of creativity is that it sometimes strikes when you’re not at your desk. Your family might hate this suggestion… but it’s better to act on those sudden insights and imagination. Carry a pad and pen at all times. Always be ready to make a quick call. Make it a habit to keep the creative spigot open no matter where you are. Sustaining the energy is worth a few glares.