Defeat Procrastination!

Good advice from

black-woman-computer-robeWe all know there is plenty to distract us from our writing goals. Demands of work and family and interruptions from a busy, noisy world make it challenging to clear the decks, mentally and physically, for the focus and calm we need to sink into the writer’s mind.

Heather Jackson of Write On Sisters talks about daydreaming – beneficial to creativity but a slippery foe that can steal our focus — in these four excellent tips:

  1. Ignore the outside world prior to and during writing time. This means not checking Facebook or Twitter or the news, because if I read something upsetting, I’ll waste hours brooding over it instead of writing.
  2. Set my computer screen to turn off after 2 minutes. This is a visual cue that I’ve zoned out. Whenever my screen goes black it reminds me to get back to writing.
  3. Read a book. If after doing steps 1 and 2 I’m still daydreaming, I’ll read a book. Reading forces my brain to focus on one fantasy world (as opposed to the half dozen that might be lighting up my gray matter) and therefore calms it down. Plus, reading a book usually inspires me to get back to writing my own.
  4. Record daydreams. After all that, if I’m still daydreaming, I write down my scatterbrained reveries and mold them into a story. Yep, a conscious effort to make mental procrastination useful!

How about you guys? Do you suffer from mental procrastination? How do you focus your brain?

I really love #2 – it’s straight up nervous system management. We need to train our brains, dear writers. We’ve done a splendid job so far… keep going!!

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