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Overcoming Procrastination

January 27, 2008 6 comments

Have you ever had one of those days where you sit down to write but found yourself uninspired to do so? Don't worry; you're not alone. Writers have experienced this on more than one occasion. The worst part, however, is when -- despite not being inspired -- you know it has to be done so you force yourself to do your job. But because you're not feeling motivated, the ideas don't flow, so you discover yourself surfing the web or doing other things with the hope that you'll be able to write or get an idea within a few minutes. Surprise! Next time you glance at the clock you realize several hours have passed and your work day/night is over! This, my friend, is called procrastination, and because Michele from Writing the Cyber Highway tagged me, I'm going to share a few of my tips for overcoming procrastination with you. Not just because Michele tagged me, but also because I enjoy sharing what I've learned over the years.

Are you procrastinating at this very moment? If so, keep reading and maybe you'll leave my blog and be able to get back to writing… before you lose track of time.

Overcoming Procrastination in Seven Easy Steps:

1. Night owl writers, go to bed. Day writers, take a nap. Seriously, all I have to do is lay my head on the pillow and the ideas run rapid. By then I'm up turning on the lamp. Next, I grab the notebook and pen from my night table to record those ideas (as I did for this post). Ok, maybe it won't work for everyone, but it works for me. In fact, it works even when I'm not trying to overcome procrastination.

2. Soak in the bathtub or take a shower. When I do either of these two things, it refreshes my body as well as my mind. Go ahead, give it a try.

3. Get organized again. Instead of surfing the web, focus on re-organizing your workspace or office. I learned that an organized workspace does wonders.

4. Go for a walk. Sometimes a little fresh air rejuvenates my mind. Who knows, it could work for you too.

5. Read a book about freelance writing. What better way to procrastinate than learning how to become a better writer. Many times when I procrastinate, I head to my bookshelf and grab one of the books on freelance writing, and 99% of the time, it inspired me to get back to work.

6. Go for a drive on a country road. I've found the best time to do this is in the spring, so you can open the windows and take in all the springtime smells: honeysuckles, flowers, etc. Besides, if you're going to procrastinate, then at least you won't loose track of time by taking a drive on a country road. Well, you may, but you won't waste as much time as you would surfing the Net, because you may run out of gas if you drive for too many hours.

7. Take advantage of those writing exercises and prompts. Since you may surf the Internet when you procrastinate, surf to the tons of websites that list free writing exercises and prompts. Pick an exercise or prompt and do it. By the time you've finished that writing exercise or prompt, I'll bet you overcome procrastination. If not, then at least you can say you didn't waste your writing time.

Those are my seven easy steps for overcoming procrastination. I hope they help you, because they've certainly helped me over the years.

Instead of tagging seven others, I would like to invite you to take part if you like. All you have to do is link back to me, list your seven tips for overcoming procrastination and then tag seven others to do the same. Oh yes, comment and let me know where to find your post. I'd love to read your procrastination tips too.

Photo courtesy: Flickr

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6 comments: to “ Overcoming Procrastination so far...

  • Lori 7:03 AM CST

    Guilty! :)

    I like your take on this, Misti. We all get moods where we just want to take a day off. I say do it.

  • Kevin 1:44 PM CST

    This is some great advice, thanks for sharing! :)

  • Misti Sandefur, Novelist/Freelance Writer 2:35 PM CST

    Lori and Kevin, thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I invite you to come back anytime.

    A day off never hurt anyone, and we all need that from time to time. :)

  • Rebecca Laffar-Smith 4:04 PM CST

    Great tips, Misti! It is wonderful to see others joining in on this meme. We could always use more anti-procrastination techniques.

  • Michele L. Tune 8:35 PM CST

    Hi Misti,

    Thanks so much for sharing your wise tips for beating procrastination! I especially LOVE the one about taking advantage of those writing prompts and exercises - how clever!

    Great job!


  • Misti Sandefur, Novelist/Freelance Writer 1:34 AM CST


    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed my tips. I enjoy memes when they're writing related. I don't want to do them too much, but I do enjoy participating every once in a while, and only when they relate to writing, of course. ;)


    Oh yes, taking advantage of those writing exercises and prompts are the best way to overcome procrastination. Usually when a writer is procrastinating, he/she surfs the Internet, so why not do something useful to help you get back on track. :)