how to stop procrastinating

5 Ways To Stop Procrastinating When You Cannot See What Is Ahead

When one decides to be a writer, they are treading uncharted waters. They must be responsible and must complete the work their book demands, while meeting a set target. Bestselling author, Stephen King, writes 2,000 words per day and allows himself to not meet his target only under dire circumstances. He completes a 180,000 word novel in three months! Before becoming a successful author, it can be hard to keep writing, as you are unsure of the outcome. When your future is hazy, it can be difficult to be persistent and determined. You might end up putting off things for later and realise that you are not moving closer to your goal. This could stir up feelings of guilt and anger, as you may be unable to put in efforts to achieve your dream. To avoid hurdles and stop procrastinating, here are some tips that might help.

    1.Create a to-do list

You cannot get started if you are unaware of the things you need to do. If you’re aiming to write a 60,000 word novel, then break it down to 2,000 to 2,500 words per day. Keep your expectations reasonable. If you currently write 1,000 words per day, it will not be possible to double it overnight. Try to steadily increase your word count, and you will soon reach your target. A maximum of three to four important tasks can be achieved each day. Write down your goals for the day, and paste it somewhere where you can see it. If you get off track, then it will help you get back to work. Ensure that you do not allot too much work, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Also try to make your work environment comfortable before you start tackling your to-do list. If you work better in a clutter-free space with music, then make all the necessary arrangements before you start working.

    2.Keep yourself accountable to your goals

Having a companion makes the process of writing a lot more fun. If you have any writer friends, try to stay in touch with them, and encourage each other to meet goals. It is said that the people we are with influence our behaviour. But this might not be possible on an everyday basis, so in those instances, tell your loved ones that you plan to write a certain amount of words on that day. Ask them to check with you as often as you’d like and track your progress through the day, or you can ask them to confirm if you’ve met your target at the end of the day. Having someone hold you accountable for what you commit will ensure that you do not put off work that needs to be completed.

    3.Avoid being a perfectionist

We believe that we cannot start a task when we do not have the required resources to do it. While this may be true sometimes, it definitely doesn’t apply with respect to writing. You do not need a clean room, the perfect supplies or a laptop to do your work. There is no perfect time to write—you might be motivated to write in the morning, but if you overslept, do not put off writing for the whole day! Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, try to brainstorm, and do the best work that you can at that moment. Sometimes, try to prioritize quantity over quality, as multiple revisions will help you refine what you have written.

    4.Eat the frog!

Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Tackle the difficult task in your to-do list first. It will be something that you don’t want to do, but need to get done. Once you finish that task, your motivation to do other things will increase, and the task with the highest priority will get completed. If you have two tasks that require equal attention, get the more difficult one done first. Sometimes, it can be hard to complete it in one sitting. Try to break it down into chunks and finish each part; this will make it easier, and you will be able to do your best.

    5.Try to reflect on the feeling you get when you achieve your goals

When you finally achieve the tasks you had set for the day and strike off the last thing on your to-do list, the rush you get in this process is unexplainable. Even if you do not feel like doing anything, try to push yourself, and do the things you have scheduled for the day. It releases a chemical in your brain that makes you feel good, while procrastinating only makes you experience guilt and postpones your dreams to someday, instead of today!

If you are facing writer’s block or other issues that are hampering your writing, check Notion Press Academy for more tips and tricks. Always remember that you never know what you are capable of until you try. Meet your looming deadlines and stop meddling with unnecessary things!

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Aishwarya Mukundarajan

Aishwarya is an MBA graduate from Symbiosis International University, Pune. When asked what her hobbies are she points to an overflowing bookcase.

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