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6 Excellent Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Overcome Procrastination

Overcome Procrastination – Beating the Devil to Focus

Procrastination can be a significant obstacle for writers, hindering creativity and productivity. As a former student, I struggled with leaving assignments to the last minute, resulting in subpar grades and missed opportunities for excellence. The truth is, we often procrastinate because we lack enthusiasm or interest in the task at hand, finding it mundane or overwhelming.

There is an excellent article that Business Insider posted about the different types of procrastinators. Based on the types, growing as a writer, I was The Novelty Seeker. Back in 2016, 2017, I was The Performer. There are 4 types of procrastinators. Check it out here.

However, overcoming procrastination is not an insurmountable challenge. It requires mindful strategies and discipline. In this article, I will share five effective tips to help writers conquer the devil of procrastination and unleash their full writing potential.

Contents

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Organize Your Time Management

Overcoming Procrastination - ORGANIZE YOUR TIME MANAGEMENTCreating a well-structured schedule and time management are powerful tools to combat procrastination. Set aside specific time slots for writing and stick to them diligently. Adequate sleep is vital for mental clarity and energy, so make it a priority to go to bed before midnight and wake up early. Embrace the rejuvenating morning sun and start your day with a renewed sense of purpose.

Start by breaking your writing tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, setting realistic deadlines for each one. Utilize productivity tools or apps to create to-do lists and track your progress. Allocate specific time blocks for writing, and treat these periods as sacred appointments with your creativity. Prioritize your writing tasks based on urgency and importance, ensuring that you tackle the most critical ones first. By organizing your time thoughtfully, you’ll find it easier to stay focused and resist the allure of procrastination.

Move Your Cellphone Away

Overcoming Procrastination - MOVE YOUR CELLPHONE AWAYIn today’s digital age, cellphones are notorious sources of procrastination. During writing sessions, keep your cellphone out of reach to minimize distractions. The temptation to check social media or respond to messages can derail your focus and hinder progress. Consider keeping your phone nearby only for emergencies, allowing you to maintain undisturbed writing momentum.

Cellphones can be a major source of distraction, derailing your writing flow and leading to procrastination. To overcome this, create a designated writing space free from the temptation of your cellphone. Consider placing your phone in another room or turning on “Do Not Disturb” mode during writing sessions. Embrace the bliss of uninterrupted writing time, allowing your creativity to flourish without digital interruptions. As you build this habit, you’ll notice a significant boost in productivity and a decline in the urge to procrastinate.

Treat Yourself After Task Completion

Overcoming Procrastination - TREAT YOURSELF AFTER TASK COMPLETIONReward yourself after completing a writing task as a way to stay motivated and reinforce positive behavior. Plan a treat to look forward to after each writing session, such as enjoying a nice dinner out or indulging in a healthy snack. The satisfaction of task completion coupled with the joy of the reward can be an immensely gratifying experience, further encouraging consistent progress.

Celebrate your writing accomplishments by rewarding yourself after completing a task. Treats can vary from indulging in your favorite snack, taking a leisurely walk in nature, or spending time on a hobby you love. By incorporating rewards, you create positive associations with completing writing tasks, making them more enticing and enjoyable. Additionally, the sense of fulfillment that comes with treating yourself will serve as a powerful motivator to tackle future writing projects promptly and enthusiastically.

Work with an Accountability Partner

Overcoming Procrastination - WORK WITH AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERPartnering with someone who shares the same writing task can be highly motivating and keep procrastination at bay. Having an engagement with your partner can create a sense of responsibility and commitment, spurring you to stay on track. Limit the accountability group to a small size, preferably three or fewer members, to maintain focus and prevent potential drifts into unrelated discussions.

Partnering with an accountability buddy can be a powerful strategy to stay on track with your writing goals. Choose someone who shares your passion for writing and is equally committed to overcoming procrastination. Regularly check in with each other, share progress, and discuss challenges. A supportive accountability partner can offer encouragement, constructive feedback, and gentle nudges to keep you motivated. Through mutual accountability, you’ll develop a sense of responsibility and a stronger drive to meet your writing targets.

Consider the Consequences of Procrastination

Overcoming Procrastination - CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCESReflect on the potential consequences of procrastination to emphasize the importance of timely task completion. Failing to meet deadlines for school assignments could lead to academic setbacks and reduced future opportunities. For writers, procrastination may hinder skill development, publishing opportunities, and career advancement. Similarly, neglecting regular workouts could negatively impact physical health and overall well-being. By acknowledging the potential consequences, writers can find the motivation to act promptly and reap the benefits of proactive efforts.

Reflecting on the consequences of procrastination can be an eye-opening exercise to break the cycle. Imagine the impact of missed opportunities, unfulfilled dreams, and stalled progress resulting from procrastination. Internalize the understanding that every moment spent procrastinating delays your journey towards success and personal growth. Conversely, remind yourself of the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from achieving your writing goals. Keeping the long-term perspective in mind will empower you to make conscious choices that prioritize your writing and minimize procrastination tendencies.

Create a Rewarding Writing Environment

Overcoming Procrastination - Create a Rewarding Writing EnvironmentI mentioned a similar solution when discussing isolation and loneliness. But rather change your environment completely, design a writing space that inspires and motivates you to write. Personalize your workspace with items that hold sentimental value or represent your writing aspirations. Surround yourself with books, quotes, or artwork that will ignite your creativity. Ensure that your writing area is well lit, comfortable, and free from distractions. Consider adding plants or elements of nature to infuse positivity and freshness into your surroundings.

Additionally, set the mood with calming music or ambient sounds to enhance your focus and concentration. Experiment with various writing tools, such as different pens and notebooks, to find what resonates best with your creative flow. By curating a rewarding and stimulating writing environment, you’ll find yourself naturally drawn to your writing space, making procrastination less likely.

This strategy has helped me personally as a writer as my environment feels more welcoming. I would look forward to entering my room, ready to work.

Recommended Books and Media on Overcoming Procrastination

Books

Atomic Habits by James Clear: An insightful guide on how small changes can lead to remarkable results by focusing on the compound benefits of tiny improvements in our everyday habits.

Procrastination by Jane B. Burka, PhD and Lenora M. Yuen, PhD: A comprehensive exploration into why we procrastinate, offering psychological insights along with practical strategies to overcome procrastination and achieve our goals.

Unfu*k Yourself by Gary Jon Bishop: A no-nonsense, motivational guide that empowers readers to break free from negative self-talk and mindset barriers to lead a more fulfilling and assertive life.

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy: A pragmatic book on time management and productivity that teaches readers to prioritize their most challenging tasks first (the “frog”), leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness in their personal and professional lives.

YouTube

Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator | Tim Urban | TED

Why you procrastinate even when it feels bad

Final Thoughts

Conquering procrastination is an essential step towards unlocking your writing potential and achieving your goals. While some tasks may appear mundane or challenging, they play a crucial role in personal growth and success. The New York Times published an article about why we procrastinate. It was written by Charlotte Lieberman, published March 25th, 2019. Check it out here if you’re interested in learning more about it. 

To conclude, resolving procrastination by organizing your time, minimizing distractions, seeking support from peers, rewarding yourself for accomplishments, and contemplating the consequences of delay.

Remember, success and satisfaction come from hard work and dedication. Embrace these strategies and let go of procrastination’s grasp to unleash the writer within you. Get to work, stay focused, and pave the way to a fulfilling and accomplished writing journey.

Now, go forth and embrace your full writing potential. Good luck!