8 Productivity Tips to Overcome Procrastination for Writers
Procrastination is a growing concern for our generation. There have always been people that wasted their precious time on something that had absolutely no value, but with the emergence of social media and other distractions, we have become prone to procrastination.
Here are some figures to support our idea: there were at least four times fewer procrastinators thirty years ago. Today, according to Brandon Gaille, around one-fifth of the total population now have issues with procrastination.
According to the same source, around 60 percent of students admit to procrastinating more on writing assignments than on other tasks.
This means that writers – as well as students dealing with writing tasks – have a hard time concentrating and tend to procrastinate when dealing with paper work.
As a result, 40% of procrastinators suffer from financial loss caused by this.
Therefore, procrastination is not only harmful because it makes you waste precious moments of your life on unimportant things, but it is also is dangerous for your financial state.
Is it possible to fight procrastination and be productive instead?
Absolutely, especially if you know these 8 tips.
1. Have a timetable.
Creating a timetable for your daily duties sounds a bit old. But you cannot deny that it works perfectly well almost every time.
People that procrastinate might have a poor understanding of the amount of time they really have. They set their work and duties aside for just a moment only to find themselves completely swamped by doing… nothing.
However, when you have a table in front of you, you get to realize the exact workload you have and limited timeframe you need to manage it within. So, whenever you find yourself itching to check your email or a messenger, look at the schedule, realize that you have no time for that – and go back to work.
2. Plan your breaks.
This might sound ridiculous, but breaks are something you need to plan ahead of time. This practice will keep you disciplined. Instead of stopping in the middle of a task and losing your focus, you will know that it is not the time yet. And according to your plan, you have to wait for another half an hour before making another cup of tea or checking your social media feed.
3. Write when outside.
When was the last time you took writing outside? It is a fantastic experience. We are not saying that you need to write on a bench in a park on a cold Christmas day. On the contrary, you need to make sure that you are comfortable when writing.
We mean that changing locations can be very helpful. So, why don’t take your laptop and go for a cup of coffee to your favorite café? This change of surroundings can boost your productivity. Plus the nice coffee will do its job, too.
Make sure to pick some nice places without too many distractions to make you lose focus. It should also be quiet in there. But other than that, taking your writing out is a brilliant idea!
4. Take all the distractions away.
There is a concept of a “gadget-free desk” which you should know about, as it can make all the difference in the way you write.
According to the Huffington Post, young people tend to watch TV, use social media, itext or talk to someone over the phone, and play games on their smartphones instead of working when needed.
That is why, eliminating all the distractions is your top priority that can increase your productivity by times.
Of course, if you are writing using your laptop, then you cannot get rid of all the distractions it brings, but you can download special technology to keep you away from social media or any other distractions you know you have issues with. For instance, Blinders or Training Wheels are perfect for this matter.
5. Have some physical activity.
If you notice that you are getting distracted when you get tired, then the right answer for you is physical exercise. Get out of your desk and have some physical activity.
Not only it will boost your attention, but also increases your creative potential, as physical activity stimulate growth of new neuron connections in one’s brain.
You can also try going for a stroll, especially after you have too much intellectual pressure. It will help you refresh and regain strengths to keep working.
6. Search for inspiration.
Since writing is a creative process, you need inspiration at all times. However, it is not something you can control, that is why so many writers come to a point of creative burnout. When in this state, you can’t help it but stare at a blank page having no idea what to write about and how to keep your readers interested. It seems like an impossible task.
But inspiration found in a right place at a right time can really do magic. So, whenever you feel stuck, look for a source to get creative ideas from. Remember that inspiration for writing comes from different places, so try listening to music, reading your favorite book, listening to your favorite speaker or watching a movie.
7. Read more.
A good book can sometimes be everything you need to get inspired. Seeing how other people put words into sentences and unite them under one great idea can be of much help to you. So, whenever possible get an old book you enjoyed so much, find a newspaper with worthy content or even listen to an audiobook of your choice. It might serve as a trigger to action.
8. Be accountable.
Ask a friend of yours to help you (it is not as desperate as it sounds). Being accountable to someone is helpful as it makes you feel responsible for all the actions you make.
The anticipation of being asked about the progress you made can be a real trigger to action. So, if you have issues with procrastination, then maybe this method can help you get organized.
You are not alone in this struggle: many people are trying to overcome procrastination these days. But the pressure of different available sources, devices, and social media cannot but steal your focus for at least 20 minutes a day. In fact, people unlock and use their smartphones around 110 times every single day with some unlocking them up to 900 times.
However, the situation is still fixable as long as you want to overcome this habit and are ready to implement our tips. As they say, “Just do it!”