You know the feeling. “I should write, but I don’t want to get up/move/start the computer/turn off the TV/stop this game.” (Or any other plethora of excuses.)
How can you be expected to write a novel or complete a screenplay when half the time you should be writing is spent online? (Yes, I understand, the internet is more distracting than life itself. Been there, done that.)
In fact, the reason we’re talking about this today is because I am such a fantastic procrastinator. Really. I try to write these posts early, but this week I find myself sitting down at the computer at the last minute, feeling harried. Not the best way to write.
I know you can understand. My downfall is usually Pinterest. While it is great for writing inspiration, it is also great at stealing writing time. I have had to learn to balance.
We’re not talking ying-yang, fen-shui type of balance, no sirree. We are talking vegetable to sugar ratio, H2 to O type of balance.
And, believe me, you will feel so much better after you’ve actually written something.
Tip #1 – Ration yourself
Do you mean 2-cups-of-sugar-per-week-during-WW2 type of ration?
Yes. Yes I do. As you get on the internet (or go to bake that cake, or turn on the television), force yourself into submission. Set a time limit and stick to it. You shouldn’t need more than 2 hours to do everything you need to do, and generally anything beyond that is self-indulgence and leads to procrastination. So, repeat after me.
I will set limits for my time spending. i WILL set limits for my time spending.
Budget your time wisely, my friends.
Tip #2 – Set a schedule
(To instantly make it more fun, set a SHED-ule)
I do this and I’ve found it’s really helpful. It’s easy, too.
Okay, I’ll walk you through this slowly.
If you are someone who needs everything written down so you can see your life in print, take out your day planner. Come on, take it out, I know you have one. If you’re someone who loves to socialize and generally fill up your time with parties, dates, and outings, pull up the alarm on your phone. If you’re someone who has to have control of everything or you go bonkers, and heaven forbid that someone else tell you how to live your life, write this down. If you are someone who really does just procrastinate because, hey, why stand when you can sit? You’re my people and you need to get your mind ready to be boggled.
People group A: find a few hours of completely free space in that day planner. In this blank space, write “Writing Time”. You’ll stick with it, so that’s all I need to tell you.
People group B: Set a new alarm to go off once a day. In this alarm, write the amount of time you will spend writing. Do it.
People group C: Write down when you will write every day and stick with that schedule. Don’t let people pull you away. It’s YOUR time.
People group D: Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Picture a normal day for you and find the time you usually crash for several hours in front of the TV. Subtract 2 hours and use those two hours — same time every day — to write. Stick with it, even when it’s hard.
Tip #3 – Unplug
Craziness. I speak craziness. Does this mean what I think it means?
On most computers there is a little button that will disconnect you from the internet. On ALL televisions and remotes, there is this little button labeled “off”. Heck, unplug the TV from the wall if you need to. MAKE TIME to write.
Do you think your favorite author got to where they are right now because it was easy for them? No. They made sacrifices. What makes you better than they are?
Turn off those devices that distract you. Set the timer for the cake in the oven and come back later. Make time. You’ll find that making that time gets easier the longer you do it.
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