We’ve all done it, probably woken up more than once in our lifetimes and realised we had something we needed to do, then rolled over and gone back to sleep. The next day we may have done the same thing and may well have done it a third time too. Until one day we woke up and realised what we needed to do was now pretty urgent. Why do we put things off when we know whatever needs doing should be done at once. Well, it’s called procrastination and it’s the enemy of all of us, especially if you’re a creative sort of person.
Procrastination – the action of delaying or postponing something.
It may be that you have a bill to pay, a job to complete or you’re supposed to meet someone and you keep putting it off. Why do we do it? Probably because it’s easier in the short term. No matter which we we cut it, most of us have been a subtle user of procrastination. The trick is, to circumvent that easy option of not doing what you know you must do, and turning it into a positive thing. I must do it, therefore I will do it. There is no clear opposite word for procrastination, except maybe to anticipate something, to deal with something before it becomes a problem. Therefore if we anticipate something, then we are being proactive. And being proactive is a state of mind. To be proactive is actually pretty simple where everyday matters are concerned and I do it with the aid of a list. Listing 1 to 20 ( or more) all the things I need to get done in a week, 1 being the most urgent and so on. Getting through a list like that can become emmensely satisfying.
But how does that apply to a creative, like a writer, who knows they must write so many words a day in a time-frame, to acheive the goal they set themselves.
Well, it’s a bit like NaNoWriMo where you enter the fsmous writing competition and you dedicate the month of November to writing a 50,000 word novel during that month.
But you don’t even need to do that. What you do need is to challenge yourself and announce it to the world, i.e., Twitter, Facebook or anywhere on social media. If you announce to the world, i.e., all your friends you are going to write X thousands words in Y number of days for your current WIP (Work In Progress) then you’re gooing to look a bit of a mug if you don’t manage to achieve your aim. In this scenario, the opposite to procarsitination is called ‘saving face’ and it’s a powerful motivation.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2019
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