Stay Balanced During Turbulence Or 5 Writer's Tips on How to Overcome Procrastination
Simple, fun & powerful tips for writers to overcome procrastination from Rogneda Kniazhina.
In an era of increased productivity and a high desire for achievement, being idle at work can be perceived as a personal defeat or a serious obstacle to the dreamed success. Buzzword "procrastination" is especially often used when it comes to creative professions and has replaced the rather familiar "no inspiration". In fact, it is difficult to say whether these terms are really equal and interchangeable, but it is definitely worth finding convenient methods to overcome this condition.
As a professional writer, I often come across situations, when there are simply no words, although the topic is familiar, and there seem to be enough resources for work. I'd like to share some tips and tricks to help you leave procrastination behind and create something incredible.
Play detective and try to figure out exactly why you are doing anything, instead of working on a project. Even the banal "I don't want" has a reason, as a rule, it is hidden a little deeper, so use the "5 why" technique to get to the bottom. For example:
- I don't want to write this article.
- It's boring.
- I already wrote this a thousand times.
- This is my job; I write what they tell me.
- Because I'm a copywriter.
- Because I'm good at it!
And this is how you understand that you need to change the project, work, or subject of your articles.
Procrastination is often confused with laziness when it is certainly not the same thing. Perhaps procrastination is your body's way of telling you, "Hey, dude! We need rest. Immediately!" And then you need to check the reserves of your internal resources. Do you sleep well? What is your stress level? What your thoughts are really occupied with? Etc.
Procrastination is quite often an indicator of problems in your life in general, and not in your work or creativity. Pay attention to this short investigation to work with the cause, not the effect.
Try New Practices
"Oh, of course, finding out the reason is very good," you say: "But what if there is no time to work out the reasons - the project is needed tomorrow?"
And here various techniques will help. First, switch to something opposite. Seriously, if your work requires a high concentration of thought, concentrate your body - do yoga and free your mind. Meditate if, on the contrary, you need to collect your thoughts, and there are too many of them - the practice is not easy, but very effective. Draw – if you are already an artist, draw in a different technique or a different subject. An important rule of thumb: the contrast – you need to shift focus.
Second, use one of the many time management practices. For example, "90 by 30". This means that you will be busy with work for 90 minutes and devote 30 minutes to rest, reboot, or cry, how hard it all is. If 90 minutes is too long for you to work, cut it in half and the rule will be "45 by 15".
Or if this is very difficult, set yourself a timer: 5 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest. Each time, increasing the work time and decreasing the rest time by one minute to come to the opposite formula: 10 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest. But to gain momentum in productivity, it is necessary to gradually increase the time of work and rest, i.e., 20 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest, etc., and so you will gradually come to a mode that is comfortable for you, which will not dry you out and exhaust you.
And don't forget to praise and reward yourself for even the smallest work. This, of course, does not mean that you need to eat candy every time you wrote one sentence or made two brush strokes, but still, the method works in 78 cases out of 100. Determine the scope of work for yourself, divide it into segments and come up with a reward system. Completed one part - received a reward, made two points of the plan at once - double it or add another bonus.
The reward can be anything: an episode of your favorite TV series, sweets, a walk, a new item for the collection, in a word, everything that you really consider a valuable prize for yourself.
The main rule for this method is a sense of proportion. The reward should not exceed your work, otherwise, the method will not work at all. Therefore, do not seek to reward yourself with something big for small efforts, everything should be as proportional as possible.
Use Brain Dump
This method is more suitable for writers and knowledge workers in general, but anyone can try. It so happens that the head is full of thoughts, ideas, some kind of songs, and just theories.
Julia Cameron in her book "The Artist's Way" offers an excellent technique "Morning Pages" - write three pages every morning, writing out absolutely everything that comes to mind. You can read more about how this practice works in the original source.
The brain dump technique suggests throwing all unnecessary this moment things out of your head into a separate dump. Literally. Take a piece of paper and write down everything that buzzes so annoyingly in your head. You can take a notebook if you write down some thoughts, quotes, or potential ideas and then work through it further, highlight interesting and important things, or you can just write until you feel relief. It is important to do this with a pen in a notebook, and not in a phone or laptop, so you use the work of both hemispheres and get the desired result.
The main goal is to free your mind from what interferes it at a particular moment in time, and you're the one who chooses the method for this.
Identify the Fulcrum
The fulcrum is not really a key goal or dream that will be the guiding star to get the desired result. This is exactly what will stand under your feet and support you throughout the entire journey.
Therefore, your fulcrum should be the results already achieved, something that will definitely not change. Write down a list of everything you've done so far, and don't be limited to professional awards or important cases. Are you the best at drawing butterflies? Feel free to write to the list. The best photographer among friends? One more point. These are victories that have already happened, which will help you constantly keep yourself in good shape and remind you that you are already an achiever.
Also, your friends and associates can be a fulcrum. If you are a loner, it does not mean that there is no community of like-minded people who, just like you, are burning with some ideas or plans. Try to be a part of it, support the members and get the same support in return.
In the fight against procrastination, your goal is not to surpass someone else or achieve the results someone else expects from you. It is to choose a rhythm that is convenient for you and move at a suitable pace, balancing between need and desire.
Hope you’ll find these tips helpful, please, feel free to share your opinion or tips that help you in the comments below.
Text: Rogneda Kniazhina