So despite not being in school this year, I know most of my friends are locked away in their room reciting text book passages and frantically cramming all their notes into their brain right about now. Why? Because Mid-Terms are right around the corner for most people.
Like I said, I might not be in school right now, but I’ve been using all of my free time to work on the quick draft of my manuscript these past few weeks in preparation for NaNoWriMo! Sooo I’m feeling the pressure too!
The problem is…I’m a pretty bad procrastinator and I still cringe at all the hours I spend on Netflix and Pinterest not being focused on my work. Lately though, I’ve been super productive and in the past three days, I’ve written about 4,500 words! I don’t know if somethings in the air or I’m just hyped up on so much coffee that I’ve become a cyborg but I wish I would never fall into a writing slump again. *sigh* xD If only.
Anyway, whether you’re in school and agonizing over your studies, or your a fellow writer amping up for NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d share some of the tips that have been helping me stay productive and focused in my writing lately! Keep reading to learn how to beat your Procrastination!
. . .
5 Tips To Beat Procrastination
1. Put Your Phone Away
I don’t know about you, but this one is so hard for me! However, I know for a fact I write so much better when I’m not being interrupted by texts and notifications every two minutes. So whether it’s letting my friends and boyfriend know I ABSOLUTELY have to write and that I’ll answer when I can or physically putting my phone in another room, sometimes, the cell phone has just got to go!
2. Block The Websites That Distract You
I can not even tell you the amount of times that I’ll be feeling the flow one second and writing something epic…and then I go to change my song on YouTube and suddenly I’m like 10 videos deep all because I saw something cool in the ‘Up Next” list. SO HARD TO RESIST, RIGHT? It’s really easy to be distracted for a minute and let it simply spiral out of control from there on out. So I’ve started just straight up blocking sites like Netflix and Twitter for hours at a time to make sure I don’t start spontaneously binging Once Upon A Time.
3. Give Yourself Goals + Deadlines
It’s not realistic to be like ‘I’m going to write 10,000 words today’ unless you’re a real cyborg…because if you’re not and you give yourself that goal and fail, you’ll just end up feeling really down and beat yourself up about it. So, make a goal that you know you can reach with the proper motivation. For instance, on my best writing nights, I can pump out about 1,500 words. Which is why on my Fall Bucket List, I set the goal for myself to try writing 1,000 words a night! Because I know it’s a word count I can fairly easily reach, I don’t feel overwhelmed before I’ve even started.
As for deadlines, this is ideal if you’re someone who works well under pressure. And don’t most procrastinators? So I decided to give myself a real deadline. Not only is NaNoWriMo coming up, but the library near the college I recently graduated from is home to the Quebec Writers Foundation and they regularly hold handy writing workshops. Currently, I’m signed up for an intensive one-day workshop on editing and finding a literary agent and now that the date is set and it’s all paid for, I have 3 weeks to work on my quick draft as much as possible! The author holding it requested we bring our finished – or nearly – finished manuscripts soo if that’s not a serious deadline…I don’t know what is!
4. Give Yourself A Reward
While I find that giving myself a deadline is a more foolproof motivation for me, a reward is a good incentive to get to where you need to go. For example, maybe you saw a nice jacket in the store and have been dying to grab it. Well hey, write 5,000 words this week or finish that essay – do what you gotta do. And at the end of the week, treat yourself to whatever your heart desires! I mean…clothes are great but if I’m being real, food rules my brain so after working hard last night, I woke up this morning and said to myself ‘hey, I did good. I’m having a burger and fries for lunch’ xP
5. Give Your Brain A Break
A fried brain is good for absolutely nothing so don’t let it get that bad! If you try to pull an all nighter at the end of your deadline, the quality in your work will definitely take a hit. So, start early, work hard and treat yourself to a break. Whether it’s treating yourself to one episode of your favorite show or taking a walk outside, breaks are essential to avoiding procrastination! If you know there’s a break in sight, you’ll be less likely to stray from your work.
Take a moment at the end of your work day to appreciate what you’ve done. I have all my quick draft chapters neatly filed away in a Google Drive folder and every night before I go to bed, I count how many chapters I’ve completed and remind myself how it won’t be long before I’m officially done if I just keep trucking it like I am now! Sending yourself positive messages like that and visibly seeing the progress you made is seriously rewarding and will help you fall asleep feeling accomplished for what you’ve completed, rather than stressed at what you haven’t.
. . .
So those are all my procrastination-beating tips! Drop me a comment telling me what yours are and let me know if you thought this was helpful! :p Procrastination sucks but it’s totally possible to overcome it. Good luck to all my readers who are students – I’m rooting for you on your mid-terms!
Goodnight all, until next time.