Image courtesy of www.whiteknuckleiron.com
I am currently editing two projects (as discussed last week), my day job is crazy and we are sharing a vehicle at home. And so my mind is probably more full than overwhelmed but it has had the save affect. I’m procrastinating.
The realisation that I was actually procrastinating struck during the week when I spent my entire morning hour watching videos on how to improve my web presence. I find that when I am overwhelmed I can become a bit distracted. Distraction can be one of those problems that feeds on itself.
The videos were very interesting by the way and I’m sure that when I can justify the time I will be trying to implement what I learnt. But what is the point of a web presence if I haven’t got any writing to share? If I have an author page with no books? And who would read writing tips from someone who watches videos instead of writes?
If I were to spend the time I’m currently wasting on my current projects I would be finished much sooner. Yet the mind is a crazy thing or a strange thing at least.
To beat procrastination I have found two things help. The first is focus.
Thinking about getting focused always makes me think of the Rock. He is the focus king. I try to channel the Rock while I’m at the gym (my hands are even starting to look like his – although not as big, obviously) but I should also be using this mindset for my writing.
Life intrudes and for many of us writing around a day job or family (or other equally important aspects of our lives) focus is required to ensure we getting the writing done.
Focused time is essential. Since the realisation of my procrastinating I revisited my diary and blocked out periods of time to write. It isn’t always easy, especially living with other people, and if you can’t find the time try negotiating for some. Even if you simply say “I just need half an hour, can you give me that?” or “Can you watch the kids or hold the dog so I can finish this chapter?”
The second is self awareness.
Seeing the signs before procrastination becomes a big problem can help you prevent it. Being aware of your writing practice and processes is a part of this. When you know what is coming and why then you are better able to deal with it.
Part of self awareness is to know what you really want to achieve. Knowing what you want makes it easier to work towards.
Revisit what you want to achieve and when you can make the time to do it. Family can be just as crazy as everything else in our lives but we have the bonus that they love us. Don’t be afraid to tell them just how important your writing is and how they can help. You never know, your partner hanging out the washing might be just what you need to lift the pressure and increase your chance to focus on the ink flowing over the page.
How focused is your writing time? What would help you focus?