How to Turn Your Favorite Way to Procrastinate Into a Productivity Tool
I’m a master at procrastinating, as most writers are. Since I waited until the last minute to write my Thursday post—is it Wednesday already?—I thought it would be fitting to write a post on our favorite ways to procrastinate.
What is it about writing that makes us procrastinate?
Is it the fear of rejection? The fear that our finished work will be judged? The self-doubt that tells us we’re not good enough? Or is it those anxious thoughts that tell us our writing projects are “killing” us?
I believe we procrastinate for all of those reasons (and more). Maybe not all at once, but one here, one there.
It’s a funny thing, this idea of procrastinating, and we love to joke about it. On the flip side, if we don’t eventually take charge, procrastination (a form of resistance) will take the reins.
I’ve written several posts on procrastination (you’ll find some related posts listed at the end of this post), but I have never written a fun post about it. I thought it was time!
A long time ago, I wrote an article on a writer’s benefits of watching TV. It talked about how a writer can glean a lot simply by watching her favorite TV shows and taking notes. The best part of the whole deal is that, since you’re gaining some value from it, you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
The point is, there are ways you can benefit from procrastinating, but you have to be the one in charge so you can make use of it.
What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?
It’s easy to do. All you do is sit on the couch and watch the screen. As writers, we feel we should be doing something more productive. Don’t we? Reading a book would be better—that, at least, is a part of our job as a writer.
It’s fun, isn’t it? You can daydream about anything you want. All it costs you is time.
Chatting on the phone
This is definitely not one of my favorites, but maybe it’s yours.
I enjoy playing Fowl Words on Merriam-Webster.com. What's your favorite game for procrastinating?
Surfing the Internet
I have an affinity to browsing books online. Not surprising; I love books.
Doing household chores
Again, not my favorite, but it has a way of getting ideas flowing.
Reading a book
Not surprisingly, reading books is my favorite way to procrastinate. It's a part of my job, yes, but I tend to overdo it, which pushes it into procrastination territory. But it does have many benefits.
Dare to make use of your procrastination skills!
Once you have determined your favorite way to procrastinate, start making it work for you. Think of ways you can procrastinate, but still receive a benefit that is relevant to your writing. For instance, if you love to browse books online, start looking for books in your genre. This will give you a head start when it comes time to do your market research for your new book.
Do you like to daydream? Focus on a story idea and see where it takes you. Lead with questions and seek the answers.
If you love to chat, run some ideas by the other person. Do a quick brainstorming session with him. It could help you gain insight or a sense of direction for your new writing project.
If you're up for the challenge, I'd love to hear how you will turn procrastination into productivity!
Happy Writing (Er…Procrastinating)!