Every writer has complained about procrastination at some point. I could be wrong, but even the most prolific writers have had to deal with the urge to put things off. If you think about it, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t make it a habit.
Additionally, there are ways to procrastinate productively. You can read about that in an article I wrote last year.
Believing that procrastination won’t go away – it will keep coming back – I think that it can be beaten if you prepare yourself for it. So, how do you beat writing procrastination?
Use it to your advantage!
If it won’t go away, then go with the flow. Let your mind think you’re procrastinating but do so in a way that you actually get things done. That’s procrastinating productively.
Here are some ways you can use writing procrastination to your advantage. (I’m not including the ones I mentioned in the previous article I shared.)
- Optimize your blog or online portfolio.
This is serious stuff right here. We’ve already established the fact that freelance writers need an online portfolio and that it should be updated regularly. But, that’s the content side.
This time, I am referring to the technical aspect. If you don’t feel like writing, why not take a look at your blog platform, hosting, and even you Internet provider. You might find that you are not getting your money’s worth and that there are better alternatives.
- Go on Medium or similar platforms.
When I feel stuck while writing an article, I go to Medium (my latest go-to reading site). It has a lot of interesting topics – some light reading, others more in-depth. I also enjoy reading the comments and, even though I rarely share my thoughts, I often get inspired to write. Procrastination time well-spent, I say!
- Watch videos.
Some people may look down on cat videos, people doing silly things, and all those viral videos with titles that include “…You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!”.
They can be irritating, but they can surprise you with some unexpected ideas. At the very least some videos provide comic relief, which may very well be the thing you need to get unstuck.
Trivial videos notwithstanding, the Internet is full of human interest videos that will tug at your heartstrings, make you remember what it is like to help others, and simply make you believe that there is good in this world. If these kinds of videos don’t inspire you to write, then move on to the next point.
- Call a friend.
Why not? You might talk about all sorts of things from your client’s shenanigans to your kid’s latest cute stunt to an awesome restaurant you just discovered. It doesn’t matter.
All these topics may lead to writing ideas, and even if they don’t, the time spent with your friend is certainly priceless.
- Look at old photos.
And sort them. That is if you have shoeboxes full of prints. They may have been forgotten for ages, but you’ll find previous memories, which may inspire you. At the very least, you’ll be able to preserve those memories.
If we’re talking digital photos, sorting is a productive thing to do as well. Digital cameras have made taking pictures easy, but they have made storage a mess. With thousands (literally) of photos scattered all over your hard drive or phone, it is usually a headache to find the exact photo you need when you need it. That is why filing them is necessary.
Writing procrastination setting in? Go sort your photos.
- Remember your dreams and goals.
Why did you get into writing? What goals did you set when you first started freelance writing?
Did you have a specific income in mind? Did you have goals like being able to visit this or that country?
It’s easy to lose sight of those dreams when you’ve got bills to pay, clients come and go, and money doesn’t come in steadily. Maybe, if you take the time to think about your dreams, you’ll be back on track to making them a reality – sooner than you think.
- Clean the house.
From dreams to elbow grease. That’s how I roll.
I’m being 100% serious here, though. I can’t count how many times I’ve allowed procrastination to take over and using that time to clean out the fridge, vacuum the carpet, or sort the kitchen cupboards. In this period, I get to have a clean house and usually a new idea or two.
So, is writing procrastination bothering you? Don’t. Let it think it’s winning, but do something that will benefit you instead.
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