For me, summer is the best time for me to get work done. However, it is also the best time for me to procrastinate. Especially since I finally paid my library fines, and I can finally check out books again. And boy have I been checking out books. I’ve checked out ten books in the last two weeks and am almost finished with the stack!
However, I am finally starting to get back on track with my writing.
I am, and always shall be, a procrastinator. I am not as terrible as some people (s/o to my sister, who is, by far, one of the worst procrastinators I have ever met in my life). However, I have learned some tactics to help manage my procrastinating.
TIPS TO HELP THE PROCRASTINATORS OF THE WORLD
- This is the one that everyone hears about, and people who are procrastinators simply wave at deadlines as they come and go. However, it is a necessary one. I personally know that I work better when I have a deadline. So for me, during the summer I am aiming to have 20 pages completed a week. I have another part-time job for the summer, so I am not able to write full-time. For me, 20 pages is about as much as I can reasonably commit to. However, I keep myself flexible. I mean for 20 pages to be a minimum; more is always better.
Tell others your deadlines.
- I am horrible at holding myself accountable. I will set a deadline for myself, but I am not always inspired to keep it. So, when I set deadlines for myself, I tell my editor what my goal is. She holds me accountable to meet my goal, or at least come close to it. No one can make you meet a deadline, but by having someone else in the loop about your goals, you are now accountable. There is some pressure to help meet the deadline.
Reward yourself for meeting deadlines.
- When you meet a deadline that you set for yourself, be excited and celebrate. How you celebrate or reward yourself is up to you, but it is perfectly okay to reward your good behavior.
- This is a hard one to do, especially if you are using a computer that has internet access. A great distraction is just a click away. Honestly, this one requires a lot of self-control. YOU have to make the decision to not go on social media or watch endless funny videos. That isn’t always easy, especially when you are trying to avoid writing. To help myself with this one, I will turn off the wi-fi on my computer. That way, getting to the distractions takes an extra step (which always makes me feel guilty), and I don’t get email notification across my screen.
Find the reason why you are procrastinating.
- This does involves some self-reflection, but you have to be honest with yourself about your reasons for procrastinating. I find myself procrastinating, in terms of my writing, because of fear. A lot of writers deal with self doubt. It is a nasty thing that really keeps me from putting words to a page and instead leads me to scroll social media during my writing time. I consider myself somewhat of a perfectionist when I am writing. I hate to write something that isn’t amazing or awe-inspiring. The fear of not living up to the expectations that I set for myself constantly keeps me from putting fingers to the keyboard and typing. Something that I constantly remind myself is that if I let the fear keep me from writing, I won’t ever write anything. Another thing I remind myself is that I can always go back and edit. Nothing that I write is forever (unless I put it on social media).
I hope you find these hints helpful!