Most writers have a tendency to procrastinate. No matter how often they write, there is always a silent struggle within to actually sit down and write. One reason for this is that writing is work and it requires your full concentration.
While other tasks like cooking or driving a car allows you some leeway to have a conversation or multitask, when it comes to writing, you must focus. It requires your undivided attention and the hard truth is that it is work. There is no sugar coating this fact.
American poet, Dorothy Parker once said, “I hate writing. I love having written.”
This is true. You will feel a sense of achievement once you’ve completed your writing. The best way to get something done is to begin. In this article, you’ll be given 5 tips that will help you shift your mindset and make you less likely to procrastinate.
The reason we procrastinate is because of our sense of self-preservation. We know that writing is work and it will not be pleasant. So, the mind conjures up excuses and we find a hundred other jobs that suddenly require our attention… when in reality, we’re just trying to escape the chore of writing. Follow the tips below and you’ll overcome this problem.
Just give yourself 15 minutes
One of the simplest ways to overcome the inertia is to tell yourself that you’ll only write for fifteen minutes. This is not too long and the majority of people won’t mind fifteen minutes. Go ahead and set your countdown timer for 15 minutes and start writing.
You’ll find that once you’ve started writing, you will keep going and may even write for an hour or two. It’s not the duration of the writing that holds people back. It’s the inertia.
So, if you’re really not in the mood to write, just give yourself 15 minutes. If you’re still not in the mood after that, go on and take a break. Come back after a couple of hours and do another 15 minutes. Do this 4 times and you’ve actually done an hour of writing.
It’s perfectly fine to start small.
Working in small time blocks
This is closely related to the point above. However, this point is more suitable for those who write often and are reaching a point of burnout. This is especially true for online marketers who write blog posts, eBooks, sales copy, etc.
There’s just so much writing to do everywhere you turn… and it never seems to end. Very often, these marketers try working for long periods without realizing that unless your writing stamina is good, you’re going to reach a point of diminishing returns in a few days.
When that happens, you’ll become less productive. Your writing will lose steam and while it seems you’re working all the time, you’re actually getting less done.
The remedy to this is to work in short time blocks. Give your writing your full attention for 45 minutes and then take a break. You may go for a walk or do other things. After a couple of hours, come back and write for another 45 minutes. The goal here is to be as focused as possible during the time you’re writing.
You should be thinking of nothing else and doing nothing else except writing. Focus is everything. Your fingers will fly across the keyboard and you’ll be amazed at just how much work gets done.
Building a habit
Try and write daily. This is especially true if you are a beginner and you hate writing. You want to make writing a habit. It doesn’t really matter what you write in the beginning, as long as you get into the habit of sitting down for a while every single day to write.
Over time, you’ll not only overcome the mental obstacle of writing but you’ll also become a faster and better writer. Practice makes perfect.
Write early in the day
Writing early in the day doesn’t refer to a specific time like 5am or 6am. It means that as soon as you start working for the day, try and get your writing done. If you’re a writer, this shouldn’t be a problem.
If you’re an online marketer who sets up blogs or designs graphics or deals with other tech related activities, it would be best to do all these after you’ve finished your writing.
Finish the writing first. It is your most important task for the day… and once you get it done, the rest will be a breeze.
“The thing all writers do best is find ways to avoid writing.” – Alan Dean Foster