You know what you should do. You just can’t seem to do it.
You’re either a person who struggles with procrastination, or you’ve got classic writer’s block. I struggle with both. In fact, I’m probably one of the least disciplined writers in the world.
Battling with procrastination is hard. People think writing takes little effort. But just because it’s not physically exerting, it still takes tons of mental focus.
Fortunately you and I are not alone. Procrastination effects many people who are inherently ambitious. That’s why there are several tools & philosophies designed for people like us.
Today I’m going to help you whip yourself into shape to make sure you blog regularly. Here are seven effective ways to kill blogger’s procrastination for good!
The Pomodoro Technique
It’s sometimes the simple things that have the biggest impact.
The Pomodoro Technique is so simple, but it’s changing the productivity habits of millions around the world.
The idea is to focus on one task for 25 minutes without distraction. You then take a five-minute break to deal with any and all distractions.
You then sit down and do your next session of 25 minutes.
Not that complicated, is it?
The key to the Pomodoro Technique’s success is its prescription to write one blog at a time and to block out everything else for a short amount of time.
What people are realizing is that they can achieve a massive amount of work in that short period. When the 25 minutes are up, they can stand back with pride at what they’ve accomplished.
So why “Pomodoro?”
Ever seen a Pomodoro timer? It’s a cooking timer that’s shaped like a tomato. Few people use an actual Pomodoro timer, but the concept survives regardless.
The “WHY Method”
Why do you blog? Silly question, right? Not really. Your answer may not be the one that’s deep enough to motivate you to stick to your blogging schedule.
I’ll ask again. Why do you blog? Not the immediate reason. The ultimate reason. What’s this blogging thing all about for you? Are you just doing it because you think you have to? Or is there a purpose to what you do?
Simon Sinek has coined The Why Method in one of his many talks on leadership and drive. He explains that we often start with the WHAT, move on to the HOW and then deal with the WHY later.
Sinek explains that we need to reverse this way of thinking and start with the WHY first. That’s what motivates us to act and figure out how to perform our duties & tasks.
How to Practice the WHY Method
I’d like to challenge you to try the WHY Method for a month. All it takes is 10 minutes each morning.
- It’s Monday. Grab a sheet of paper and write down one thing you did last week that you’re proud of. Give yourself credit for it and explain why you are proud of yourself for doing it. It doesn’t even have to be work related.
- Then I want you to write down why you blog. What’s your goal? Are you trying to be a better mother by making enough money to send your child to a better school? Are you saving up for a bigger house? Are you trying to earn enough money for extra education? What’s the end goal to this blogging thing?
- After that write down your three main priorities for the day. Keep doing this daily until Friday—leaving out the other two steps which are exclusively for Monday.
- When Monday comes around again, repeat the process.
You’ll be amazed at how identifying your priorities puts your day, week and month into perspective.
This works on the premise that you should have your short and long term goals on paper at all times. It gives you the drive to make your life happen the way you want it to.
Do you like playing addictive games? Reward-based challenges are what make games so addictive.
What if we tapped into that reward-based challenge-slashing addiction and applied it to our work?
Someone thought of this before we did. His name is Tyler Renelle, and he’s developed a game-like habit app that uses RPG gaming to create good habits, curb bad ones and complete projects.
You get a character who can basically level up, buy weapons and fight monsters. In order to make your character strong, you need to perform tasks and follow healthy habits.
By missing habits or following unhealthy ones, your character suffers health loss. It’s got everything; potions, dragons, pets, weapons and even a way to get your friends to join in on battling monsters!
This app makes blogging fun!
Writer’s block? Bored? Procrastinating?
My advice: BUILD A FOREST!
ForestApp is a simple phone app that motivates you to focus on one task at a time. It’s a practical way to implement the Pomodoro Technique—and motivates you to do so.
Once you plant a tree, the app will lock your phone and prevent you from leaving until the tree has grown to full maturity.
If you give up, your tree will die and the dead tree will be added to your forest for the day. But if you complete your time without getting distracted by your phone, you get a healthy tree (or shrub) placed in your forest.
As you become more productive you will earn credits. These credits will allow you to unlock more trees, different types of shrubs and other great features.
By the end of the week you will be able to view your productivity for the week via a stat sheet.
Perfect for writers!
Brain Dumping with Google Keep
The reason you procrastinate is because your brain is overwhelmed.
You may not know this yet, but brain dumping is an instant cure for procrastination. It puts your day in perspective.
If you have a lot of writing, invoicing and meetings everyday—and are starting to feel overwhelmed, download a free app called Google Keep.
You get to post notes on your screen wall that remind you of what to do. You can color code them according to priority too.
If a task is pressing on your mind, create a note and forget about it. If you don’t “dump” it, it’s going to hinder your productivity throughout the day and make you feel overwhelmed.
The 5-Second Rule
Like I said, blogging isn’t easy. Sitting down and tapping keys sounds easy enough, but getting your brain focused is HARD!
Let’s get real for a minute. We tend to deny ourselves so much good in this life because of our own fears and laziness.
The 5-Second Rule confronts this problem head on—which is why I love it so much.
Mel Robbins says that Motivation is Garbage. And she’s right! She explains that fear grips us when we think about doing something—and that fear is completely unfounded.
The 5-Second Rule prescribes that we act immediately on a thought, a task or an idea when it pops into our minds.
If we don’t act within five seconds, the brain starts to eject the idea and we end up carrying on with our lives as if the idea never occurred.
The message we learn from the 5-Second Rule is, ACT NOW. Even if it’s only a tiny step. Do something to start that blog even if it’s just the first line. Starting is the hardest part.
Get that out of the way and productivity will follow.
Podcast Addict and Overcast
I never saw the point in listening to podcasts. But then I noticed that there’s a podcast for just about EVERYTHING! Yes, even the stuff I loved listening about.
Podcasts made me realize that there are other bloggers out there just like me. I could connect with these people by forming a daily habit of podcast listening. Since I started, I’ve learned so much!
Here’s why you should be listening to podcasts every day:
- You will learn how others blog and write in a way you never thought of
- It will connect you to other bloggers
- You’ll discover tools you can use to become more productive
- It’s a great way to get your day started in the right mindset
Start following some podcasts on working from home, blogging, writing and affiliate marketing. Keep learning every day and you’ll soon see yourself progressing in your blogging.
Procrastination Is Fear
It’s silly if you think about it. As bloggers we can easily beat procrastination once we take its power away.
Now that you have the tools, commit yourself to writing a certain number of blogs per month—AND DO IT!
YEAH, let’s go!
2 thoughts on “7 Tips For Bloggers Who Battle With Procrastination”
Hi Copley. I used to struggle with procrastination. I’ve heard of a lot of the techniques, like pomodoro. I’ve been hearing a lot about gamification recently too, which I guess Habitica and ForestApp would fall into.
What ended up working for me was just making a to-do list. My to-do list is essentially brain dumping and sounds lot like how you described Google Keep. I use the sticky notes app that came on my Mac. I know there is one on the PC too because I used that before I switched.
As ideas come to me I jot them down on a sticky note. Then the last thing I do before going to bed or the first thing in the morning after I get up, I prioritize everything into a single list so that I know what needs to be done that day.
Once the list is done, then I just work from the list. Now it’s just a matter of discipline instead of motivation or organization.
You’ve listed some good ideas. Everyone just needs to pick the one that works best for them and stick with it.
Same here. My to-do-list is my #1 tool for productivity. Until it’s done, I won’t end my day. Could be at 3pm or 1am. The list has to be crossed off 🙂