Three manuscripts, a publishing venture, and online posts await me in the office loft upstairs. Yeah, I should really get to my work. Used towels reach toward me from the rack, so I’ll just throw those into the wash first. I pause at the foot of the steps and scan the house for other potential distractions. The procrastination beast grimaces, snarls. His taunts of futility, drudgery, and failure echo through the stairwell.
With leaden feet, I ascend to the work tower at last. My desk welcomes me to take my familiar seat. I tickle at the writing instrument and begin. With a quick check to see if I have any notifications on Facebook. And clean out my emails. Today’s coupon for Michaels insists I search for beading supplies. Because, you know, I can’t pass up this sale. I follow these detours for an hour to ninety minutes.
Now I’m hungry.
As I head down to obtain the afternoon’s fuel, projects stir from the corners of my mind. Insights swell and press forth. The kitchen clock flashes her impatient glare. My writing time has thinned to a sharp edge. The deadline pops loose my motivation. I hustle to my creative spire. Coax sentences to fizz out of my fingertips and glug across the page. The awkward, slow pace builds momentum until words flow. Chores and online temptations croon at me. I fight for focus. As the effervescence of dream worlds and inspirations forms a cascade over the screen, the sparkle equips me to resist the siren songs.
Procrastination has beaten me in the past. But I have collared the beast and shall overcome procrastination today.
I abandoned the notion of eliminating procrastination. Instead, I can tame the ever-present tendency. I can even harness these delays and make them work for my benefit. Today’s video addresses a few tips to manage and channel procrastination.
- Identify fears and lies feeding the beast. Muzzle the enemy’s jaws with truth. And don’t venture into any day without your purpose to arm you.
- Plan to win. Set a realistic goal for your day’s end.
- Allow time for urgent and unscheduled interruptions.
- Schedule a set period for procrastination. Consider which tasks you need to get done first so you can better concentrate. Permit some fun to send your brain into a creative space, too.
- Create a specific buffer to signal your brain’s moment to begin work. Think Pavlov. Food performs this function delightfully.
- Build resistance to distractions. Use technology to help you break through the initial wall and achieve a flow state.
- Once in the flow, allow the momentum to grow.
- Know when to brake. Stop where you have a good starting place on a downhill slope, not at the foot of a new hill.
- Celebrate progress and plan progress!
- Get enough rest between work sessions. Sharpen your tools. Feed your creativity well enough so it’s stronger than the monstrous enemy.
- Do now instead of later.
What are your favorite weapons to tame the beast of procrastination? I look forward to reading your comments.