Seven Tips for Beating Procrastination

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Seven Tips for Beating Procrastination

JCM Enterprises

I found this blog entry and want to keep this one on file somewhere. I almost didn't get around to it. :)

This blog entry actually started as a response to another blog, Writer's Round-About, with its Seven Procrastination Busters by Rebecca Laffar-Smith:

Tip 1: Get Out, Work Out.

Get out of the house. In a way this might be giving in, but the idea is to work the blood through your body and stimulate your mind and senses with a new environment and a little sun, cloud, or night sky.

Tip 2: Stubborn Determination

Sit there staring at the empty page and allow the anger, resentment, and frustration to build. Fight against your inner instincts; a war of the mind. Let the part of you that is resolved to accomplishing the task give the tantrum throwing toddler voice inside you a firm, "Now."

Tip 3: Progression Elsewhere

When procrastination drags it is a great time to get everything 'else' done. You'll feel productive, accomplished, and energized for the rest of the day's tasks.

Tip 4: This Computer That Computer

Change your medium. If you have a second computer it can sometimes help to switch. If not then the good old fashioned pen to paper or typewriter is as great an option. The change of medium and location can free the mind and motivate your senses.

Tip 5: Change Your Focus

Try changing your tactic. Look at your task, rethink your idea, and look at alternative ways to accomplish your goals. There may be a better option that will fire up your motivation and get you moving forward.

Tip 6: A Melody to Sooth the Beast

Dig out your headset and slam watts of music into your ears. Do you have select play lists set up that key you into writing? Often just hearing the opening track will put you in the mood and get the words flowing.

Tip 7: Conscious State Change

If the above failed it's time for the big guns. You need to call on your inner self to create a state change. Procrastination of this sort is often blocked by an emotional factor that holds you back. Do you feel the task is daunting, boring, intensive, or time consuming? Even if you know that you will enjoy working once you begin it can be hard to get past that insipient voice.

Now here are the 7 from JCM:

Use the 10-minute method to get jobs done.

. . .

Break your project down and give yourself small goals.

. . .

Develop the habit of an efficient work routine.

. . .

Sit straighter in your chair when you work. It sounds crazy, but your body position when you write has a huge effect on your mood.

. . .

Keep yourself busy. Once you have a momentum going in your day, don't break from it until you've ridden the wave for all it's worth. During slow periods, work on your business and take care of the things you've been putting off.

. . .

Take a break. Alright, yes, I know – I just told you not to stop. But there's a difference between keeping the momentum going and burning yourself into the ground.

. . .

Last but not least, use every resource you have to stay focused, like the combined superhero duo of Google Calendar with Remember the Milk.

Looking throught these links was inspiring. Still, these links deserved a summary of my own.

Maybe later... :)


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Here are seven more tips from Writing Forward: How to Stop Procrastination: Seven Tips for Getting Things Done by Melissa Donovan.

1. Use Brute Force

Don’t you have any self-control? If not, get some, and make yourself do what has to be done. Yes, it’s that simple. The rest of these tips, and any other tips you read about beating procrastination are just fluff and nonsense. Tie yourself to your desk, superglue your fingers to the keyboard, use torture if you must. Force yourself and get it done.

2. Do The Shuffle

Make a decision to do what you have to do… eventually. By juggling your schedule just a little bit, you can bump the nasty task to later in the day, or later in the week, later in the year, or, you can…

3. Just Forget About It!

I mean really, is this something that you absolutely have to do? Let’s face it, sometimes we assign ourselves meaningless and unnecessary chores. If you’ve been putting it off for over a month and your life hasn’t fallen apart yet, maybe it doesn’t need doing.

4. Talk Yourself Into It

So let’s say it’s something you really do need to do. Like paying your bills. You can’t exactly postpone that indefinitely, unless you’re planning on declaring bankruptcy. Sit down and have a chat with yourself. Say to yourself, “Self, this really needs to get done, and here’s why…” You may end up having a big long argument. We all know how insistent Self can be, so make sure you really dig your heels in. If your Self is anything like mine, there will be plenty of sweet talk. Be prepared.

5. Get Someone Else to Do It

Now here’s one method that sounds extremely tantalizing, don’t you think? Say it with me: get someone else to do it. You don’t have to do everything all by yourself. A little assistance might be just the thing you need. Get out that little black book, dust it off, and call in the troops.

6. Treat Yourself Like the Child You Are

Not all of us can handle responsibility like mature adults. If all else fails, tempt yourself with a reward. Yes, just like you would do with a child, or an animal. Doesn’t a piece of chocolate cake sound mouth-watering? An hour on the Playstation? A professional massage… Well you can have all of these things and many more if you just… Finish. Your. Task.

7. Give Yourself Twenty Minutes

If you have to resort to this method, you’ve basically failed. However, failure can be temporary. Decide that no, you’re not going to do it right this minute, and do something else instead. But at least make it something beneficial. Work on another task, exercise, meditate, fold the laundry. Twenty minutes, tops! Then snap your bootstraps and do the damn thing!

These suggerstions are interesing because they include not doing the task as one way of beating procrastination. This is one good way to see if your task is all that important to your values. If you can reassign the task for later, it is not urgent, so there is no need to procrastinate by the very nature of the task. Another is decide not to do it. Another is to give into the procrastination for 20 minutes.

If taken to heart, these are excellent suggestions. If used otherwise, some of them can be excellent excuses to procrastinate.


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