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How I Minimized Procrastination

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You know you should be doing more important things, but here you are, playing a game, watching YouTube or TV or talking in the phone. It’s a huge issue for many people including myself. It’s like me taking forever just to type the word, procrastination.

One of my biggest problems is overcoming procrastination.  I like to sit around and focus on Facebook games and YouTube videos before I start a project. As you can guess, it’ll be hours before I even get to the actual project and nothing gets done. This drives me crazy. What I’ve done is create a system that would help me stop procrastinating. Well to be honest, everything I’ve done to stop procrastinating has only caused me to relapse and procrastinate even more.

Instead of focusing on eliminating procrastination, I tried understanding why I procrastinate.

Understanding

  1. I found out that I feared my possible outcome. When it comes to writing, my fear is that I’d suck. Most of the time, however, my fear wastes my time and money.
  2. I also found that I was working in an unhealthy state. Sometimes I’ll try to write all day long without properly eating or sleeping. This causes me to lack the energy to do what I need.
  3. Location is everything to a writer, even me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just in the wrong location. I always try to write while sitting in my house all day long without ever leaving. This rarely works.

Now that I have that understanding, it’s just a matter of correcting my mistakes. Here’s what I’ve done to minimize this issue.

  1. Free Myself From Opinions
    I stopped looking for approval for everything I do. I was always concerned that people would hate what I wrote, so I would stop writing or leave something unpublished until all was good. Also I’m concerned that I could be alienated for what I’ve written. Well as a writer, that’s likely to happen anyway. Though I treasure and value constructive criticism and advice, I will not write or do something for someone’s overall approval or favor towards me. Once I dealt with this, I found a new sense of freedom. I felt that I could do anything I wanted when I wanted, so I did and still do. I don’t have any fear of someone’s opinion because their opinion isn’t needed for my success.
  2. Energize
    I exercise thirty minutes a day, drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and eat a minimum of two meals a day.  This change gave me the necessary energy to not only correct the list below, but it helped me from burning out and having daily mental drains.
  3. Goal Setting
    Once I completed the first two steps, then I created realistic goals. Fifteen blog posts a day is NOT a realistic goal for me. Though my goal is five posts a day, I strive for two daily. However, if I only come up with one post, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.
  4. Work on My Own Schedule
    In addition to the above point, I don’t give myself more than I WANT to do. I can work 12 hours a day on any project, but I don’t want to. I only want to work two hours on a project. So I make plans to do two hours of work. Now I’ve solved my problem of wasting my time and money, well at least my time.
  5. Location
    For my place of operations, I like to work in areas that are similar to what I’m doing. I also like to write in public library–ideally before the high school kids get there.  By writing in the library, I can feed off everyone else who is writing and reading. In the library, there are no distractions like there are in my house. Getting everything done in a timely manner is simple.
  6. List It
    Lastly, I create a to-do list.  One reason I procrastinate is because I have too many things to do first or too many things that are top priority. Since I don’t know what to do first, I do nothing at all. By prioritizing my day and projects, I find that I get more done and at a faster pace. Now I can sit around and play my FB games or sleep, or whatever I want to do because my work is done.

What has helped you with your procrastination? Let me know in the comments.

Categories: Writing Advice