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3 Ways Writers Can Combat Procrastination

 

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Ironically, another challenge that seems to plague those in the process of publishing (or writing with the intent to publish) a profitable book is procrastination which, if you’ve not yet heard, is the annoying cousin of impatience.

 

Possibly more ironic is the amount of time I’ve spent procrastinating writing this post on procrastination!

 

In my experience, procrastination is most of the byproduct of one emotion: fear.

Fear that what we write won’t be good. Fear that the words won’t come at all. Fear that we will never get to the end of this journey and actually have a published book. Fear that if/when we do, no one will buy it.

 

And so, instead of setting one or two attainable goals for the day or week, we instead identify “things” that certainly need our attention more than this project: the carpet that needs to be vacuumed, the phone call that has to be made to someone you haven’t spoken with in months, the article that you are presently reading…

 

Procrastination gets the better of all of us. The key is to move from procrastination to action (one that involves doing something that is actually productive!).

 

3 STEPS TO TRIUMPHING OVER PROCRASTINATION

 

Call It What It Is

When you catch yourself procrastinating, simply acknowledge it and give it a reason. “I’m procrastinating because…” That reason can help tune you into the solution.

 

Is your challenge fear-based? If so, what do you fear? What’s the worst that can happen? (Because if your fear is that you won’t ever complete this project, procrastination is an awfully good way to create a self-fulfilling prophecy!).

 

Get Out of Your Environment

Are you tired? Do you need a break? Perhaps taking an afternoon (or an entire) day off is a good solution. Contrary to popular belief, taking time to re-charge can actually make you more productive the next time you sit down to work, and you may be creatively re-charged by taking a break doing something you truly enjoy.

 

Create Manageable Steps

One strategy that has worked for me is identifying one thing important step that I can take by day’s end. Whether a (business-related) phone call, an email, the outline for an article, or a concrete plan for the rest of the week, this strategy propels me from thinking to doing.

 

I don’t know about you, but I spend a LOT of time thinking. Sometimes that is productive — when the thinking is strategy and productivity oriented. Other times (such as when the thinking isn’t thinking at all; it’s worrying) those minutes and hours could be far better spent checking a necessary task off of the to-do list.

 

Now I’d love to hear from you!

 

Let me know in the comments below what strategies you’ve employed to combat procrastination. Or, be brave enough to admit the top three things you are likely to be found doing when you are procrastinating! I’ll get the ball rolling on that one:

  • Eating snack #67
  • Calling Erin and beginning the conversation with “Ugggghhhhhhhhh…….”
  • Staring into space

 

If you found this blog post helpful, I’d be grateful if you would pass it along to your colleagues, friends and fellow writers — anyone you know also struggles with procrastination!

 

Carry on, my friends!

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Get my Ultimate Self-Publishing Roadmap

Remove the overwhelming HOW once and for all!

It's free!
The exact roadmap I used to publish four profitable books (fifth is coming soon!)