15 Tips for Postponing Writing Procrastination
By Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D.
The Ph.D. of Productivity™
Reno, NV | www.meggin.com
Heaven only knows that being writers, we can all procrastinate. You could probably generate a whole list of ways that you have procrastinated. But let’s not procrastinate – you’re actually reading this article (and using the ideas to help you postpone procrastination).
Let us get to 15 tips to help you postpone your procrastination around writing.
- Clean off your desk. You might think that this is actually a way to procrastinate, and it can be. What I am suggesting here though is the idea that when it is time to write, you have a cleaned-off surface.
- Notice when you are messing around and only pretending to write. I will make the assumption that you are an adult and that you have the executive control functions required to be a productive grown-up. Given that fact, you know perfectly well when you are fiddling around and not writing. Call yourself out on these behaviors and get back to writing.
- Sit down. When I was a professor, I could not believe the number of people who would stand out in the hall or wander around the office area talking about how much they needed to write and complaining that the publication expectations were too high, etc., etc., etc. It was all I could do not to go out into the hall and suggest (nicely, of course), that they might want to get their rear ends into chairs and start writing instead of standing around talking about writing.
- Open a document. Whether it is a document on your computer or a physical document that you have in a real folder (imagine that)…open it. It is difficult to write without having a document open and ready for our words.
- Open your brain so there is flow. Our brains can be our very best friends when we write or they can really seem to get in the way. If your brain is somewhat dammed up, then you need to get it moving again. Just sit and envision your brain like a dam that is either overflowing or better yet, that has been opened to allow for a controlled flow. No blockage, only flow.
- Always capture ideas. Great ideas can come to us at any time – and that is usually when they arrive, i.e., at any ol’ time. Never let an idea slip away. Keep tools available so you can jot down these random thoughts and ideas. When the idea occurs to you, there is no way for you to know if the idea will be good idea, or not so great. You can make that determination later.
- Routinize your writing. You brush your teeth. You fix your coffee or tea every morning. You never forget the conditioner on your hair in the shower. You have your clothes static free and clean smelling because you always put in a dryer sheet. Whatever these routines are…they are in place to support a behavior you want. Writing is a behavior you want to have as part of your life. Make it part of your routine and establish routines around your writing. Routine supports productivity vs. procrastination.
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