You're an author and writing is what you do. If you’ve found yourself putting off important writing assignments repeatedly, you’re not alone. It happens to the best of us...in fact, many people procrastinate to some degree – but some are so chronically affected by procrastination that it stops them fulfilling their potential to allow words to be conducive to their muse, and disrupts well-meaning projects. But are you really a procrastinator? You know without doubt that the mortgage is due, there's hardly enough food to sustain the family, creditors are chasing you for promised money without Peter to pay a Paul is broke too., and they have repossessed your car to boot! This is enough to render you to lie, cheat, and steal for a ray of hope, but we can be our own worst enemies when we say we're going to do something and for whatever reason we renege.
Somewhere in your literary life there may have been times like this when you question how you got to be in the position you're in and still expect to write with clarity. You've said over and over that you need to do something expressly when the words don't flow exponentially, or when you at a standstill and know that there's deadlines looming. You're wondering and wandering all over the place looking for a safe haven where you can sort out your mind, contemplating where to go and how to get there for good balance. Upon further scrutiny you've accepted where you are now...you've assessed your situation and have come to the conclusion that you need a change -- a new lease on life. But you're hesitant again, self-doubt is permeating and pulling you further away from perseverance. "What in the world is going on...and how can I get out of this malaise?"
Well, let me help you out. First and foremost, you have to do it now! Yes, it's all about recognizing that you don't prioritize adequately and managing your time has been none-existent. Putting off an important task for a short period because you’re feeling particularly tired is par for this course, and you say that it isn’t necessarily 'procrastination' so long as you don’t delay starting the task for more than a day or so, and this is only an occasional situation. I call it compromising for lack of a modified modus operandi to employ a sense of continuity. Writers are notorious for putting things off until later thinking that they will always have time to recoup. Oftentimes we are in denial when it comes to having time to do as oppose to not doing. Here are some useful indicators in my opinion that will help you know when you’re procrastinating:
- Filling your day with low priority tasks from the 'To Do List' that started this process.
- Reading e-mails that have piled up from several days without starting work on them, or deciding what you’re going to do with them.
- Sitting down to start a high-priority task, and almost immediately going off to do something else that cropped up.
- Ignoring an item on your To Do list for a long time, even though you know it's important.
- Regularly saying "Yes" to unimportant tasks that others ask you to do, and filling your time with these instead of getting on with the important tasks already on your list.
- Waiting for the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle the important task at hand.
I’m no stranger when it comes to running into a wall trying to find space to write or even WHAT to write, but to avoid making excuses for any of that which would deter my motives to let words define my tasks, I had to conquer procrastination and just do it! You need to spot straight away that you're doing it and doing it with a plan. Then, you need to identify why you're procrastinating and take the appropriate steps to overcome the block. Part of the solution is to develop good ways of managing your time to organize those personable habits in enhancing effectiveness. When you do it now! you will ascribe to not making the wrong choice, and perfect a range of powerful and effective decision-making techniques. Remember: the longer you can spend without procrastinating and putting things off, the greater your chances of breaking this destructive habit for good, even for us writers!