How to achieve guilt-free procrastination!
Well ok, maybe not 100% guilt free. But pretty close.
Procrastination is part of the creative process, and berating yourself for being lazy isn’t helpful. In fact, using your willpower to force yourself do something leaves you exhausted and less likely to do it.
I don’t have an answer yet for how we can engage both parts of our brains and just do things without delay. But I do have a technique that takes into account the fact that we’re human and encourages you to leverage procrastination time instead of using all your willpower to ‘behave’ (boring!).
I tried it at yesterday’s writing retreat and it worked. I wasn’t even tempted to sneak onto email during working time. I don’t know if it has an official name, but to me it’s the Procrastination Station.
So. Your Procrastination Station is nothing more than a simple bit of paper/post-it note.
On it, you write a small selection of up to 5 things you can do to procrastinate.
You are allowed to do these things as much as you like without feeling bad, so pick carefully – hopefully the shame of writing ‘check Twitter and Facebook 86 times’ will hold you back a little.
I heard recently of a writer who can knit for as long as she likes as long as she stays in her writing chair. She wants to get her knitting done and it’s good thinking time, so this is perfect. I sometimes have a plan B when I start writing in case I get stuck, so I’d put another writing project or two on the list.
This way when you waste time you’re doing something useful, but of course you need to know what it is you should be doing. And if you’re on a tight deadline you won’t have time for this, but otherwise it’s super-useful.
Try it, and let me know if it works…
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