Been there many times over the years. But, what writer hasn’t, right? Though I still feel frustrated with it at times, Procrastination and I have managed to become friends. This is a good thing. For instance, being able to look each other in the eye means that I know that when I feel overwhelmed I freeze up. I’ve got things to do, places to go, you know. But, I’m almost completely unable to do anything. Normally, deadlines can be great motivators. But, the idea of waiting till the eleventh hour to start and finish something just stresses me out. Some people can set soft deadlines (read: artificial), and that’s enough to get them going. Hmm, not me. If I’ve set a soft deadline, I know it’s not real, which means I can easily talk myself out of following through. Tough case, eh? Well, here’s the upside. Having tried so many anti-procrastination tricks over time, I now know exactly what will jostle me out of mental paralysis. So, today, I’m here to let you in on the three small steps that will (hopefully!) help you beat that procrastination problem. And at the end, your sweet tooth will thank you.
Make a List
This one’s easy. I just make a list of everything I’d like to get done. Then I jot down what each task will entail. Think of this first step as a basic brainstorming session. No pressure!
Examine the List
Ok, so far so good. Step two is all about looking at the list you just pieced together. Ask yourself, what is the simplest task to complete? Maybe it’s blocking off all the days on which you have a meeting over the next week or month. I have a particular affinity for this particular task. Just think of how organized you’ll be once you’re done! Those feelings of joy and accomplishment, even for such a small task, are the point here. Once you’ve tasted success, motivation will follow.
Yup. You read that right. When I’m feeling that motivation drought, I like to allow myself 10 or 15 minutes to do something completely different. Look at squirrel videos on YouTube, or wander through the garden. Just don’t wander too far away! I set a timer, then get back to work. Most anti-procrastination tips encourage you to cut off all distractions. But, I’ve found that having the radio playing in the background or taking short breaks is the perfect foil.
From there, repeat steps two and three till done.
Making chocolate chip cookies is my go-to remedy when I find that procrastination has wrapped its sumptuous fingers around my brain. The recipe is simple, quick to pull together and requires only one bowl so I can place my computer or notebook beside me. The best part, of course, is that once baked, those scrumptious cookies make a great reward for all my hard work. (Recipe adapted from the back of a package of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, unsalted and softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt; stir until combined.
- In a larger bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
- Pour flour combination into large bowl. Stir briefly until well combined.
- Add chocolate chips; stir.
- Place 1 tablespoon of dough, spaced about an inch apart, onto a large baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.