Advice on how to beat procrastination

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss an article on how to beat procrastination with advice from psychologist Alexander Rozental….

Many Most writers suffer from procrastination of some form or another. Either they tackle ANOTHER job they characteristically dislike (doing dishes, answering email, completing tax returns) or they pick one side of the writing equation (writing NOT editing) or vice versa and focus only on that, ignoring the other, completely necessary side.

A writer in my Get it Done program, who occasionally procrastinates recently forwarded to me a fascinating article on how to stop yourself from this kind of shilly-shallying. Headlined: “4 ways to beat procrastination” and featuring the advice of  Alexander Rozental (pictured above), a Stockholm-based psychologist, the article provides some of the most cogent advice I’ve ever seen, all wrapped up in one brief and easy-to-read package.

To summarize Rozental, he suggests:

  • Setting realistic goals (as opposed to ones that are too lofty and therefore unachievable.)
  • Rewarding yourself along the way and not just at the end of your writing project.
  • Making unenjoyable tasks more appealing by coupling  them with something you enjoy. For example, you might write while listening to music or while sitting in a favourite cafe.
  • Using mini-goals to motivate yourself. For example, you might write 250 words of a book today.

Rozental also offers a two-week course on beating procrastination, that’s free. I’ve signed up and I’ll be starting tomorrow. If you’re interested, just enter you name and email on his website. But you might want to read the article first.

Thanks so much for forwarding it to me, Jessica.

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