Before jumping into how to beat procrastination, first, let’s acknowledge the obvious: I have really good hair today.
Wait, no. You can’t see my hair. That was totally for a different book. (Kidding. I could never write an entire book about having good hair, because I don’t have it. Now my sister, on the other hand, could give lessons in good hair. Buuuuuut that’s not really why you’re here, is it?)
What we really need to acknowledge is this: Creative work is difficult, especially when it comes to trying to beat procrastination. It’s hard for all of us. It’s novel and frightening and you never know quite how it’s going to turn out until the very end. Frankly, it’s not calculated to make a person feel very comfortable.
The fear and anxiety that go along with writing, painting, singing, redecorating, starting a business or otherwise engaging your artistic spirit are legendary. And they lead to one outcome above all else:
Psst, it says. Put that keyboard away. Go try paddle boarding. You know you’ve always wanted to! Today is the day! There’s a special at the community center, and you’ll never get a better chance than this.
That devil is lying. You won’t die if you don’t try paddle boarding today, but you will fail to make measurable strides in your goals if you always listen to it. Guess which route most of us normal humans take, though?
Paddle boarding. Because it’s fun and easy and not filled with the kind of immobilizing existential doubt that leads one inexorably to an iron-clad belief in their own helplessness. I mean, come on: Which of those two options seems more appealing to you?
If you chose immobilizing existential doubt, yay! You’re going far, my friend!
If not – like the rest of us – you’ve got some learning to do.
Procrastination isn’t the only evil, either. There’s a devil on your other shoulder, too. Let’s call him the Shiny Object Devil, always convincing you that that project over there looks much more appealing than this one right in front of you. Even if you do manage to beat Procrastination Devil, Shiny Object Devil is right there to steal your time, energy and money, and funnel it toward a brand spankin’ new project, leaving the first forgotten in the dust.
Wait, two devils?? No angels, even? Well, that’s what we’re here to fix. You gotta be your own angel.
That’s why I wrote Get the Hell Into It: Stop Bouncing from Idea to Idea and Learn to See Things Through. Think of it as a helpful primer on how to stop effing messing around and start actually getting things done.
Because I think working to beat procrastination is so important, I’ve included lots of resources in this book. They come in two forms:
These are some of my favorite go-to articles, ideas, inspiration and more. I don’t include that many, because I want the ones I do put in to be meaningful. I highly recommend you check them out. Good stuff, people. (Also, I won’t lie, a few GIFs.)
These require (or if you prefer, invite) your participation. You can write your answers down on paper or just think through them; the thought exercises involved are all relatively simple, and more meant to inspire your dedication than to hash out anything specific. It’s up to you.
You’ll notice throughout the book, in fact, that it’s more a primer on how to think about procrastination than it is a step-by-step guide. I mean, yes, it’s that too. But mostly, this book is a recognition of how freaking hard it is to make it as a creative, and that one of the biggest enemies we face is our own willingness to abandon our dreams before they have a chance to be realized.
This book is about discarding the thoughts instead of the dreams.
It’s about making a commitment to your own work and your own worth.
It’s about waiting until the evening, when you’re done with your creative labors, to finally try that new cinnamon roll recipe.
Believe me, I know how important cinnamon rolls are. I just think you should make them after you make progress on your real goals in life.
Unless your goal is to be a food blogger. In which case … please have me over.
This book is not intended for use as a distraction in and of itself. If you are supposed to be working or creating, beat procrastination, put it down and go do your real work. I will not be held responsible for your dallying, no matter how amazing and captivating my writing is. (Soooo captivating, we can all agree.)
However, this book is intended to be the guide you need stop putting things off once and for all. It is the listening ear that will prove you’re not alone in your fear and your cinnamon-role-procrastination. And it is the roadmap you need to go from slacker to salutatorian in your chosen creative field.
It’s time to get into it, my friends. It’s time to put excuses aside and GET WAY THE HELL INTO IT.
Starting … now.
Like what you read here? It’s from my book Get the Hell Into It: Stop Bouncing from Idea to Idea and Learn to See Things Through (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain). Feel free to check it out, or head over to the Resource Library for other great resources to help you get your head “write” today. (Get it?)
So just click that big shiny picture below. Onward!
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