I live with a quandary every day. I suffer from blank-page-a-phobia, yet I seem to be striving for excellence in procrastination. The combination is a vicious circle: my procrastination produces my blank page and my blank page perpetuates my procrastination.
From what I’ve learned about other writers, I’m not alone.
Most people think procrastinators are just poor time managers. But I don’t think it’s about time. It’s about distraction. And most of the time it’s distraction, I, for one, seek out!
For example, I can come up with any reason why my environment isn’t right for my creativity. Right now, I don’t feel like I have the right chair next to my desk in my home office. I want to Google for chairs. I want to make a list of furniture places to visit this weekend. If the weather is good. I wonder what the weather will be next week for my trip. I could research and plan this for the next few hours. And by that time, Judge Judy will be on and I hate to miss her. Then I have to cook some dinner and feed the dog, then it’s not really work time anymore. Then it’s dark. Then I might yawn. Then, I should probably go to bed. Ooo, it sure would be nice to have fresh sheets. I should wash my sheets. Let me go start a load of laundry.
See? And my consciousness returns to a blank page, which starts the cycle all over again.
At least I recognize that I need help. First step, so I’ve heard. I wonder what the second step is. I, of course, turn to Google to search for procrastination solutions.
Did you know that the second week in March is National Procrastination Week? Wonder if that’s to celebrate it or overcome it? I should look into how that designation came to be. How does one declare a Week like that? Is there a Week wizard? Lord, help me.
There seems to be a consensus:
Do what you hate (not “hate”, but what you find overwhelming) FIRST, even before the inevitable morning self-talk can start. And for a short period of time - just for 5 minutes. And every single day. They say consistency is the key, especially when forming a habit.
Divide any task into tinier tasks. If you have a novel to write, break that down into chapters, then into pages, then into scenes, then into paragraphs. So, write a paragraph a day. Blank-page-a-phobia is alleviated by just one sentence on a page, so I guarantee that if you have a goal of writing one paragraph each morning, the mere words on the page will make you write more. Some suggest creating a daily procrastination worksheet that lists the pieces of your task with completion dates - like weekly goals, monthly goals. Personally, this would just give me a new procrastination tool. I already have a project spreadsheet on which I just love to change the row colors every day to avoid writing.
Use the Law of Attraction to send your intention to the Universe. Say positive sentences of visualization and expectation. For example, rather than “I procrastinate and suffer from blank-page-a-phobia”, say “I am writing to fill up the page.” To me, this one is the most important. First morning affirmations are so powerful and, in my experience, typically invoke hope, peace, confidence, and gratitude – key ingredients for a successful and productive day.
I should hear the angels singing any minute now. Let me be still to receive. Closing my eyes to receive. Wow, a nap sure would be nice right now. I can’t take a nap. I need to run errands this afternoon. Speaking of, I need to start my food shopping list. Why can’t I ever find a pen when I need one? Need a new system for keeping up with my pens……