“Just five minutes,” I murmur to myself, eyeing the episode of Mythbusters I haven’t seen yet. “Just five minutes, then I’ll stop watching it, and go back to writing.”
Forty minutes later, the episode is coming to an end, and I haven’t written a word.
Enter the procrastination demon.
It happens to all of us now and then. Without fail, something more interesting than our work comes along, and it captures our attention and doesn’t release its hold until that something more interesting goes away. Sometimes it takes the form of research. What should have taken five minutes took you an hour, cutting away at your writing (or editing) time until you have gotten nothing done.
Then you’re behind on your deadlines.
The procrastination demon has won this round. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. It’s possible to beat procrastination, if you’re willing to put in the work and exercise a little discipline.
That won’t happen overnight, though. Like any habit, it takes practice and effort to overcome the procrastination demon. Sometimes, no matter what you do, he’ll win. What really matters is that you win more frequently than he does, and you get your work done.
Put down the…
Whether it’s a tv remote, sketching pencils, your camera, or even the internet, put them down until you get done a minimum amount of work. Set mini goals for yourself and reward yourself with the things you like procrastinating with. That way, when the procrastination demon tries to take a nibble out of you, it’s much easier to resist – you’ll get to do that thing you want to do soon enough.
If you must procrastinate, do something useful.
Some people just get more done when they procrastinate. If this is your personality type, make certain you procrastinate by doing other work. Focus how you procrastinate. When I do this, I get tired of doing the make work (usually cleaning) and go back to what I should be doing. Yes, I’m procrastinating from the other work I set out to do. It works surprisingly well for me, especially during crunch times.
Breaking the procrastination habit isn’t easy. Reward yourself when you reach milestones, obtain goals, and yes, when you resist the procrastination demon. The trick here, however, is to make sure you don’t reward yourself early. If you aren’t rewarding yourself for your successes, but whenever you want, this method just won’t work. Rewards need to be reserved for when you earn them, or you may just be feeding your procrastination habit.
The Cost of Procrastination
Now that I’ve given you some ways you can help beat the procrastination habit, why is beating the procrastination demon so important?
Procrastination is the art of not getting things done. You’ve probably heard it so many times you’re sick of it, but writers write. If you aren’t writing (IE, you’re procrastinating) then it’s hard to call yourself a writer, isn’t it?
Procrastination is the leading cause of writers not finishing their novels. Some of you might be thinking about writer’s block being the leading cause, but in my opinion, writer’s block is something that can be defeated through hard work and persistence.
Writer’s block – or when a story just gets difficult to write – leads to procrastination. Words aren’t being written when you’re busy procrastinating. So, put away those distractions, sit down, and write. When the going gets tough, hang in there.
You’ll get through it if you keep on writing.
Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.
But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.
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Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG - 13
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