How to End Procrastination
Contrary to popular belief, there IS enough time in the day. How we choose to spend it however, is ultimately the deciding factor on how effective we are. Procrastination is a nasty trap which derails our creative energy and runs us off-track. As an artist, this can grind projects to a prison like halt. The longer it's left unchecked, the pile of unfinished work becomes more overwhelming, perpetuating yet more procrastination. Thankfully there are some quick adjustments you can take right now to help finish your to-do lists, and still enjoy some rest and relaxation at the end of the day.
1) If the project before you is really large, the hardest part is often figuring out where to start. When this happens I like to think in terms of "Micromovements", a term I read in a great book by SARK called "Creative Companion". The concept works by chopping the looming task into much smaller and therefore more manageable steps. For example, if you want to create a coffee table book of 100 of your photography, the first step may be to simply create a desktop folder for all the photos. The next day, you can flag three photos that you'd like to add. The third day, you actually add the three photos to the folder. If you do this each day for a month or so, you'll have the contents of your book ready! Micromovements help to get the ball rolling, building momentum with each small step towards completion.
2) Keep your Facebook account, but delete the app from your phone. On average, we spend approximately 15 hours and 33 minutes on Facebook each month. Recent studies also show that more than fifty percent of this is done on mobile devices. By deleting the app from my phone, I am giving myself the space to think and focus on tasks other than what my friends are up to. I'm not tempted to upload photos and check comments while I'm out. Now, my time spent on the network has dropped off dramatically. As Betty White famously said on her SNL appearance "We didn't have Facebook in my day, we had a phone book but you wouldn't waste an afternoon on it."
3) We all have those nagging tasks that we put off for another day. I'm definitely guilty of this, and have found a way to largely overcome it. The trick is to find the courage to rise above whatever is holding you back, face it head on, and do it anyway. If it's a phone call, stop what you're doing and make it. For email, take a deep breath and hit send. The relief will be immediate, and you can allow yourself to focus on other more pleasant endeavors.