Procrastination is the enemy of writers, and really anyone who needs to get work done. Still, it happens to the best of us. Here are three ways I find it helpful to counter procrastination when writing:
Time is perception. When our brains need to adapt to new information, it warps our perception of time, because we are creating new neural pathways. Every time we inject novelty into our day, however minute, it changes how we perceive time. Here are 3 ways to change how you perceive your writing time, and productivity:
Since I released my first novel, almost four years ago, I have done a complete 180 in terms of my writing process. I used to believe fervently in waiting for the arrival of that elusive ‘writing muse’, and when she did finally make an appearance, I would write feverishly until she chose to leave. But in the last several years, I have adapted my belief, changed my process until I now believe in a different kind of power – the power of starting.
The Pomodoro technique was created in the 1980’s as a method of increasing productivity. ‘Pomodoro’ is the Italian word for ‘tomato’. The technique is so called because of the popular kitchen timer, shaped as a tomato. The idea behind the pomodoro technique is to set a timer for 25 minutes, work for that period, and then when the timer is done, to take a break. By working hard for a short period of time, and then taking a break, productivity increases.
It’s not difficult to be up before the sun rises in Calgary. The sunrise and sunset shift each day, and by the beginning of December, the sun sets around 4:30 pm, and doesn’t rise until around 8:30 am. It’s the opposite in the heart of summer. The sun rises around 5:30 am, and doesn’t set until just before 10:00 pm. I tried explaining this to my host family when I visited Japan a few years ago, and they thought I was lying, or at the very least exaggerating.But here we are on December 1st, at 8:00 in the morning, and the first few tendrils of sunlight are only now creeping slowly past the horizon.
Although I can hardly claim to enjoy walking home from work, and waking up, in the pitch dark for half the year, there is something magical about watching the sun rise, and the day brighten into wakefulness.
I find possibility in every sunrise.
It is one of those inexorable aspects of living on planet earth; night turning to day. In that first hour, when the blanket of dark that covers the sky begins to lighten along the horizon, I am reminded that every day is a new beginning; a rebirth, full of opportunity and new experiences. That feeling of possibility is a large part of why I am a morning person, and why so many of my ideas, and creative inspiration come as I watch the world wake.
I like to sit by the windows overlooking the backyard, to see that faithful sun lighten the sky, play with colours, and eventually heave itself up above the rooftops in all its scintillating glory.
There is just something about a sunrise that provides the imagination with a world of opportunity.
What is your favourite time of the day for writing? Tell me in the comments below!