If you're anything like me, then you are probably a self-admitted procrastinator - but you know what? That's okay! You can still be a successful freelancer and I'm here to help you figure out how.
Don't Let Your Procrastination Be Your Downfall as a Freelancer
Being a procrastinator is going to be one of the biggest hurdles for you to overcome as a freelancer of any sort - but especially as a freelance writer. It seems to me that many creative types (but certainly writers) have a tendency to put things off more than the average individual. While this can get you into trouble, if you're smart about it, procrastination doesn't have to keep you from having a successful freelance writing career.
You may have read somewhere that procrastination and freelancing don't mix - and I'm not here to tell you that they necessarily should or do - but I am here to tell you that it is entirely possible. If you learn how to manipulate your own bad habits to work in your favor, and have the will power to keep working on things no matter how many roadblocks you come across, then you can have the capability to be your own boss (with a little patience, practice and dedication that is).
Learning the Art of Productive Procrastination
Eventually, I'm going to have an entire "Procrastinator's Guide to Productivity" for all you, who like me, are ADD as can be and have a hard time focusing for long periods sometimes and other times zone in on what you're doing (and become lost to the outside world) for hours at a time.
Until then, I want to be able to bring you some hope - and a couple quick tips that help me get through my distraction filled days while still getting things done. In the future, I'll be linking you to posts that have motivated me, freelancers with amazing tips, as well as apps - all with the hopes of helping you find the techniques that work best for you, because we all work, learn and live differently.
Maybe what works for me doesn't work for you - but some of it might and a different combination of the thousands of productivity tips on the internet may work for you where they didn't work for me. In the end, the goal of this is to help you learn how to turn your bad habits into good ones (without causing a mental burnout over your mile long to-do list).
My Biggest Secret to Getting Stuff Done While Procrastinating is...
that when I'm feeling stuck on a blog post, a chapter of an eBook or searching for a topic, I stop trying. I take a break - I allow myself 10-15 minutes of internet surfing or Facebook scrolling on my phone - and then I move on to a different task.
If it was a blog post that I was having a fit of writers block with, or not being able to find a source for, or whatever the case may be, I stop working on that blog post for a little while. I'll take that short break - let my mind wander like it so desperately wants to - and then I move on to something else - researching topics for the next day or work on social media stuff.
When I'm feeling restless and sitting still at the computer is becoming difficult to do without fidgeting with everything nearby (grabbing a new cup of coffee, going to re-heat said cup of coffee later, looking at my phone, checking e-mails, writing in a notebook, anything but trying to focus on the task at hand) I turn to household tasks that I would normally put off - dishes, wiping down the bathroom, picking up my bedroom or folding laundry for example.
Even though I'm still putting off one thing, I'm still working one of the many tasks on my seemingly endless "to-do" list. Then, when I start feeling too easily distracted, I repeat the process and then attempt to jump back into whatever I was putting off the first time. I'll go into better detail on this strategy in a future post - but hopefully this gives you a little bit of an idea on how you can turn your procrastination into productivity!