This post has been sitting half-written in my notes for three months. The original document is older than my blog. I hope this proves my authority on this topic: I am an expert in the art of procrastination. It is an art which demands your time and your energy, but most of all it demands to be mastered. Procrastination is not always a bad thing, not if you learn to procrastinate productively and make it work for you. I’m interested in becoming a freelance writer, a profession which requires self-discipline. My tendency toward procrastination often hinders productivity, so I must keep it at a minimum. The following are some tips that worked for myself, and will hopefully help others to procrastinate productively.
If your mind starts to wonder, let it. There is no use in staring at that blank if your mind won’t co-operate to fill it. Taking a short break, getting a drink or seeing friends for an hour usually results in a more productive mood. If you re-energize yourself, you’ll have way more ideas and drive to do that thing you couldn’t before. Be it an essay, writing a blog post or getting a start on that novel. Perhaps your mind will listen to you after you’ve done what it wanted to do.
Set rewards and reasonable goals. Done a paragraph? Read an online article. Finished a page? Get a cup of tea. Finished the whole thing? Watch a movie. Make sure you have something to look forward to other than finishing. It often helps to ban myself from very distracting things, until I have accomplished my set target for the day. Don’t overdo it though – you won’t write a novel in a day, so maybe start by planning it, starting a chapter the following day, and having a rough version of the chapter finished by the end of the week.
Procrastinate Productively. How do you think I started this blog? I was procrastinating a huge essay in January when I started outlining ideas for a blog. During my A Levels, I began mapping out my first novel. Procrastination sometimes sends you toward a less time-sensitive goal, but if you ensure that those ways you procrastinate will still pay off in the long run, you’re not losing any time! Be sure to complete the time-sensitive goals as well, I may have set up a blog but I still finished that essay. Positive procrastination is key!