May 21, 2019
Note From Rochelle
Don’t forget to sign up for my birthday special. My class Procrastination Proof Your Writing Life will support you in taking the steps you need to overcome your procrastination and write more. Sign up at the Workshop Page.
Speaking of procrastination, today’s tip offers one tool for starting projects when you’d rather do just about anything else.
The Easiest Way to Start Writing (When You’re Scared)
By Rochelle Melander
Do you ever set aside time to work on a project and then struggle to start? Instead of writing, you check Facebook, do a bit more research, clean the toilets…anything to avoid the work?
Over the years, I’ve worked with many clients who struggle to write. They schedule time to write…and blow it off. Or they keep the writing date and do something else, like edit. I’ve noticed that my clients have the most difficulty starting tasks that are new, important to them, or challenging.
I’ve been there. When this happens to me, I’m usually dealing with fear: fear I’m not good enough, I don’t know how, or won’t get it right. But putting off the project only increases my fear. In my mind, the project gets bigger and harder.
Thankfully, I’ve discovered tools and techniques for overcoming that fear and writing. Here’s one tool for overcoming inertia and moving forward:
Schedule Writing Time
When we set aside time to write, we’re more likely to do it. Yes, we’ll still procrastinate. But we will find it more difficult to avoid writing. Go get your calendar and block off a few writing sessions.
Use the Countdown Tool
Mel Robbins has a technique called “The Five Second Rule” that helps people move from idea to action in five seconds or less. In this technique, the minute you have an urge to act on a goal, count down from five and move when you get to the number one. Since you’ve scheduled your writing time, use that as a cue to start counting down. Before you get to one, start writing.
Set a Timer
Sometimes we avoid writing because we cannot imagine filling a whole hour with creative work. Instead of expecting yourself to write for a whole morning or a few hours, set a timer for five to fifteen minutes. When the time is over, give yourself a reward.
Don’t save the countdown tool for the beginning of writing projects. If you get to a part in your writing practice that feels challenging and you’re tempted to give up, try the countdown tool. Set aside five minutes to brainstorm solutions for the problem, start counting down, and get moving before you hit the number one.
If you need more help to avoid procrastination, come to my class: Procrastination Proof Your Writing Life. Sign up at the Workshop Page.