(It took less than that to write this post.)
Believe it or not there are times in my life when I can be quite the procrastinator. I bet most of you reading this have had your moments. The past few months I have been struggling with writer’s block. I’m not sure if it’s the beautiful weather, the lunar cycle, or what, but I have had a hard time shaking it. So when deadlines hit I procrastinate, putting it off until the very last minute. (If Cheryl Maloney, Publisher of Simple Steps Real Change Magazine, is reading this, she will verify that!) Some say that this “condition” is more of a “writing procrastination” than writers block. Either way, it’s time to practice what I preach and move on.
What would I tell a client or one of my children that might be procrastinating about anything? Stop! Okay, to most people who would be too easy. In that case, I offer them the following 7 tips, which, by the way, I have begun to re-practice myself!
7. Timing – Allow yourself ample time to do the thing you need to do. (For me it was less than an hour!) Set the timer. When the timer goes off, get up and walk away. (Just like they do on the cooking shows.)
6. Trigger – What’s the trigger that’s causing your procrastination? Why are you avoiding it? Is it a fear of failure, self-doubt, and feelings of not good enough? Look at past successes to help you eliminate those triggers.
5. Perfectionism – Release the notion that it “has to be perfect”. Sometimes your “okay stuff” is your publisher’s perfect piece. Let someone else do the edits; that’s probably what they get paid for.
4. Space – Create or find a comfortable space to write in, a space that inspires you. Maybe it’s nature, maybe it’s a coffee shop, and maybe it’s your kitchen table. Try a few places out and see where you connect the best, where you get the most done.
3. Prioritize – Tackle the hard stuff early. Make a list beginning with the most challenging or daunting task and start there. Once it’s complete you will feel a genuine sense of accomplishment which might make diving into the rest a little more enticing.
2. Eliminate distractions – Close the door and leave our phone in the other room. Don’t even think about opening email, Facebook or any other type of Soulcial Media platform, until you’ve finished your task. In fact, make that a reward of sorts. Remove as many distractions from our surroundings before you begin.
1. Just do it! That’s right, like the Nike ad suggests. Just do it! Jump in. The sooner you get it done, the better you will feel!
As you can see, these suggestions apply to almost any area of your life that you might be procrastinating about something. When none of these work, eat chocolate. J