1. Evaluate the element of the project that you’re avoiding. What is it that prevents you from getting started on this part of your writing project? If the task seems overwhelming, it’s usually because it’s too much to handle in its entirety. The solution? Break it down into smaller chunks. Divide any giant project into sub-components that are quicker and easier to do. When you can look at it as a series of smaller tasks, it’s no longer an overwhelming proposition, but a manageable project that you can finish one step at a time.
3. Do something in the moment. Take charge of the situation at once and initiate whatever action steps you need to take to move your writing project forward. Even the most daunting task can be a lot easier once we stop making excuses and roll up our sleeves. Develop a reputation for getting things done. Putting important tasks off makes you appear to be less committed to accomplishment. There is no value in delay. Life is a series of moments. Seize them and use them as they are given. Delays serve no one.
4. Make a public declaration to reinforce your commitment. Find someone who you’d be embarrassed to let down by not following through and completing that report or book you want to write. Share your objective and the timeline for achieving it. Then, get to it by creating an outline and step-by-step plan. Sharing your commitment with someone else forces you to be accountable. You’ll be less likely to goof off and more inclined to bear down and do whatever work is necessary to fulfill your commitment.
5. Take daily action. Act on anything that will help you get closer to the finish line. If you want to succeed as a writer, you need to write and write often. Getting started can be as simple as firing up your laptop, opening a project file, gaining clarification from your client by telephone, or writing the first line of your of your opening paragraph. Take whatever action you can in the moment to get the ball rolling. Then it’s just a matter of building momentum.
6. Think before you act. If you’re having trouble getting started on any writing project, it’s probably because the path isn’t clear in your mind. Confusion leads to inaction. You’re better off taking 5 minutes to think about it first. Probe your mind for the reasons behind your procrastination. Are you clear about where you want to go? Force yourself to analyze what’s causing the delay. Then face up to it. Create a road map and start from where you are. Once you know where you’re going and how to get there, it’s just a matter of following the path.
7. Confront the beast. Do the thing you keep putting off first. You’re only putting it off because you think that by avoiding action, you’re avoiding the pain. But sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with it anyway and when you do, you’ll likely find out that it wasn’t such a big deal. Why not just complete this troublesome task early in the day? Once it’s done, you’ll feel relieved and energized. Your self-esteem will skyrocket and the
rest of the day will be easy and productive.
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