Repost from The Social Penguin Blog
I’ve been meaning to write about procrastination but I keep putting it off! (Ba doom doom tish.)
This blog post has probably taken 2 months to write (and another month to publish..) Ok that’s a lie, this first paragraph took a few minutes to write the rest of it has kinda been stop start ever since. Procrastination is the thief of time so the saying goes and for all intensive purposes a blog killer. There is always a reason not to write, always something better to do, (since writing this paragraph I have wandered off to check Twitter, Facebook and Reddit a couple of times) and before you know it it’s been well over a month since you posted anything and your subscribers are deserting you.
This post isn’t by any means a sermon, I know full well how often real life gets in the way of best intentions, and I’m as guilty as everyone else at putting things off. (*cough last blog post was in April cough cough*) These tips below are just a bit of help to keep you posting content, even though you’d rather be doing something else.
Never say ‘I’ll do it later’
Writing always seems to be bottom in the pile of priorities, even at work. Later comes along and you still haven’t written anything. Constantly telling yourself ‘later’ lets things slide, do it now if you can. If you have great idea but can’t write it out in full make a few notes and set yourself a deadline to get it written by.
Step away from the internet!
No really, it’s like the most distracting thing ever. You may have just googled something as a bit of research but before you know it you’ve just spent an hour reading wikipedia and you’ve lost your train of thought. (You’ve been sucked in to the procrastination loop!) Try writing somewhere without any internet access and make a note of anything you need to check or reference when you’re done.
Keep a list of things you want to write about
Inspiration can strike at any time, usually at the most inconvenient time. You can’t drop everything to write when ever the compulsion hits you so keep a list of everything that you think you be interesting to write about. Chances are less than a third of the stuff you’ve listed will ever see the light of day but a third is still better than nothing at all.
Put some time aside just for writing
Time is precious and we’re all busy people but if you can’t put aside 30 distraction free minutes to sit down and write you’re fighting a losing battle.
Break it down
If you’re putting off writing because the task just seems to big, break it down in to smaller chunks. 15 to 30 minutes every day until it’s finished. You may find that once you’ve started writing you get caught up and will write for longer than you intended, just keep going until you start to struggle and then stop. Sometimes starting is half the battle.
Accept it may not be perfect
This one is an absolute killer for me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I will work and work on an article until it is totally perfect. The truth is the 6 revisions and changes were probably unnecessary and just creates more work and adds more time before I can publish. It’s a lot easier to seek an outside opinion as to whether your post is ready to publish, get someone to check it over before your OCD spirals out of control.
So give these tips a go, go write stuff and add any of your own ways to fight procrastination in the comments below. And for goodness sake stop checking Facebook, nothing will have happened in the two minutes since you last looked!
Thanks to @Tartancat for the Procrastination Loop.