Procrastination is one of the biggest enemies bloggers can face.
Well, lets be honest, it’s definitely a demon that the population at large has to battle with from time to time.
I can’t count the number of times I have sat down at my desk at 9am with the absolute intention of having completed a project within the next couple of hours.
I plan that I’ll have ticked it off multiple tasks and be busy working on the next.
That is always the plan.
BUT way too often… 11am arrives and I realise I’ve been distracted for the last two hours by emails, Facebook, You Tube, Pinterest.
Relentlessly sucked into black hole after black hole, of time draining activity
It’s something that happens to so many of us.
Today…. it happened…
Procrastination took over me again!
I sat down at my desk today, just before 9am.
I had the best intentions to write a zillion words and complete many tasks.
But all of a sudden, it was 10:30… and to make matters worse, I’d ran out of coffee.
But guess what?
It motivated me to write this post about procrastination and here I am!
Also, I amused myself by looking up funny images about procrastination.
Such as this one:
And let us not forget all of those amusing YouTube videos on procrastination!
That make you almost feel better… About procrastinating…
Here is one of my all time favourites…
So, procrastination itself has given me the inspiration to write today and I hope I can now take on board some of the advice I’m about to give you.
How To: Stop Procrastinating And *&*()^% Get Things Done!
1/ Ask yourself….WHY are you doing this?
You need to ask yourself…. Why are you procrastinating at all?
You may not think there is any reason in particular, but I think if you dig down, you’ll see that there is.
In my own case, it normally arises out of any of the following…
- There’s an article I’ve arranged to write next that I’m dragging my heels about. Maybe I’m not too interested in the topic, or just nervous about it for some reason.
- I’ve just finished an article, but committing to the next one can lead me to hit the wall sometimes.
- Fear of the unknown – if there is something I know I need to tackle that is out of my comfort zone, this is a prime time for procrastination to emerge.
- Sometimes it’s because I burn out. If I’ve written a lot of content in a short space of time over days, or weeks, burn out can inevitably occur, (it could also be a sign – that you need a break!).
The point is, taking a step back and considering why you are engaging in this behaviour, can help you to put a stop to it sooner.
2/ Why Are You A Blogger Anyway?
Remembering why you started this can be an important motivator, when writing a post feels like the last thing in the world you want to do.
It’s a good idea to have your own reasons close to hand, so you can glance at them regularly and remind yourself of all those reasons you started your blog or website to begin with.
This was your own choice, you are in control of this decision and you need to be in control of your behaviour – you are the boss here, reign it in.
3/ Realistic Daily Goals Are Good!
Spending a little time first thing in the morning or last thing at night to set out your daily goals can help you keep that focus in your mind.
What I feel is important though, is to only write down the goals that are the most important -if you achieve those, you can add more.
If you write some ridiculously long and unrealistic list, this can just overwhelm you even more and you’ll be even more likely to fall into the procrastination trap!
4/ Multi-Tasking – I don’t think so!
Forget multi-tasking – singular tasking is the real way to go!
If you’re trying to do too many things at once, this can become a real breading ground for procrastination.
Focus on one key task at a time and do it well.
A great book I’m currently reading is called “The One Thing,” by Gary Keller.
It basically argues, that in order to be successful, you should focus on ONE thing at a time, not multiple things and it holds some very useful insights, so, I highly recommend it!
5/ Limit The Unnecessary!
Are there pointless things you do relentlessly each day – multiple times a day?
Here are a few of my unnecessary time wasters: Relentlessly checking, email, google analytics, my affiliate accounts, checking Facebook…
These are all things that could be done ONCE a day. But it’s fighting the temptation that’s the tricky bit.
It’s just so easy now to indulge in these pointless activities, that we find it hard to restrain ourselves.
Checking email is just a quick tab click away, google analytics is on a phone app, Facebook updates pop up in the corner of the computer screen – it is hard to switch off.
The ideal way to avoid some of these distractions if to make it much harder on yourself to access them.
For example, take off that APP, change your Facebook settings, log out of email….
There are other common distractions too, having your phone constantly updating you on pointless information, having the TV on, phone calls coming in.
Switch off the distraction. Just do it.
6/ Remember Breaks – Just Don’t Let The Break Take You!
As long as your breaks don’t turn into a “Breaking Bad,” marathon on Netflix, they are a good idea.
It’s important to take regular little breaks. However, if you find yourself falling into bad habits, set yourself a rigid break structure.
For example, 10 minutes to make a coffee, have a rest and then back to work again.
7/ Some Things Are Boring – Get Over It!
When you’re employed in a regular job, there are a multitude of boring tasks that you need to do every day.
But you do them anyway because, you don’t have any choice!
Well, getting your work done online is the same – not everything is super fun and entertaining and interesting.
Sometimes it’s mundane as hell.
But you need to be tough with yourself – just like a boss!
Accept that, whatever it is, just has to be done and as soon as it’s done, the sooner you can get back to those tasks you enjoy.
It’s boring, it sucks and that’s OK – some things will be. GET IT DONE.
8/ Get Writing – Do It Now!
I had that stuck-in-the-mud mental block feeling this morning and decided to write this post about procrastination – because, that was on my mind.
Sometimes, just the act of STARTING something, is enough to get the creative juices flowing again.
So, if what it takes is taking a little detour from your original plan, do that! At least it’s actually productive.
If your aim to to get some work done on your blog, just start writing and see what happens. You may be surprised at what emerges!
9/ Time Challenges Are Fun.
It can be fun to test yourself literally against the clock for shorter goals – or even in terms of days or weeks for others.
For example, turn off absolutely all other distractions and see how much you can write solidly for thirty minutes. I always find the results surprising.
It’s amazing what you can achieve when you limit all distractions and actually setting out a challenge for yourself, means you’re more likely to do it.
Other longer challenges I regularly partake in, are completing a certain number of posts in a certain number of days – having a group of people to share these challenges with is a good idea.
For example, join a forum with other bloggers, or an online blogging community – there will always be some challenge or other going on!
10/ Grab The Bull By The Horns – Early!
This is something I tend to try and do, but stray from every now and then.
That is, to get the thing you enjoy least out of the way as soon as possible. This can dramatically ease of the procrastination if you’re strict about this.
If there is a post/phone call/email/mundane task/exercise – or whatever it is that you’re not keen on doing, just suck it up and get it out of the way before you even have a chance to question it.
The very act of doing it will make you feel like a super hero for the rest of the day and you can go on to have a full and productive day.
So, what do you think? Are there points I’ve missed out that are relevant to you?
Leave me a comment below!
Now… time to get on with my next post…
All the best…