Writers are known procrastinators. Whether we’re afraid our ideas won’t be good enough, or we’re waiting for inspiration to strike, we tend to set ourselves up for stress by waiting until the last-possible minute to begin serious work on our projects.
But it is possible to break away from this pattern.
Here are a few tips to help you break free from the pain of procrastination.
Always keep the main idea in mind. No matter the size of a project, refuse to let it overwhelm you. In one sentence, write down the purpose your text will serve. Keeping the main premise of your task in mind will keep you from venturing off onto unrelated tangents and/or becoming distracted. And the fewer the distractions, the faster you will finish.
The end is in sight. It always helps to visualize the end product…especially when you are working on a large project. Take it one word at a time always keeping in mind that each word written is one word closer to the end.
Just do it already. Stop regurgitating all of the excuses as to why you haven’t started yet, and simply start writing. Lucky for us, we can have first, second, third, and tenth drafts in the writing world. Even if your grammar and spelling aren’t perfect the first time around, the important thing is to just get something — anything — down on paper.
Reward yourself for a job well done. Everybody loves rewards, and what better way to motivate yourself than by knowing you can savor a glass of red wine, enjoy a round of golf, or shop ‘til you drop after meeting your deadline.
Lose the “I Work Better Under Pressure” mentality. This is one of my personal favorites. Instead of reminding ourselves that putting off an unwanted project until the last minute really makes us want to pull our hair out, we justify it with this overly used devil of a saying. Stop thinking this way, and just get to work. You just may find that a project without stress is much more enjoyable than “working under pressure.”
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