According to The Washington Post article, The real reasons you procrastinate — and how to stop, procrastination happens when you choose present happiness over long-term satisfaction. The piece suggests three things to help you stop procrastinating:
1. Forgive yourself for your procrastination.
2. Ignore how you feel about the task and just do it.
3. Break big tasks into small ones.
But if you’re working on a writing project, you might be saying to yourself, “That’s all well and good, but . . .
1. If I’m not strict with myself, I’ll never get anything done.
According to the Forbes article, Science Explains The Link Between Self-Compassion and Success, “Multiple studies show that treating yourself with more kindness could be the best way to gain better results [emphasis added].”
2. I need to be in the mood to write.
If you wait until you’re in the mood, it’s very likely you won’t get much done. As Joyce Carol Oates, author of 58 novels, said in an interview for the Paris Review, “Generally I’ve found this to be true: I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes . . . and somehow the activity of writing changes everything [emphasis added].”
3. Structure and planning stifle my creativity.
Again, not true!
Limits can actually increase your creativity. According to The New York Times article, Route to Creativity: Following Bliss or Dots?, researchers found that, ““[N]othing stifles inventiveness and artistry more brutally, than too much freedom, too much wiggle room for the imagination. Instead, they argue, the real source of productive creativity may lie in art’s supposed bugaboos: rules, structure, even the occasional editor or two [emphasis added].”
So, if you have been putting off your writing project, whatever it might be — professional, academic, personal – be gentle with yourself. Keep connecting calendaring, and committing to ease your way through procrastination.
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Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “How to overcome procrastination if you want to write”
Britt…this is solid advice. I can use it. The articles are very helpful as well. Keep it up.