I know you’re serious about your creative work. Whether or not that work is your job, your self-generated projects are the key to your future self.
Which is why it’s so crazy that when you sit down to face that work (if you even get that far), you squirm and end up on social media or watching some TV show, just wishing that you would stop procrastinating.
You feel like you “need” to get stuff done on your self-generated creative project so you say no to something you actually want to do with family or friends… or you go, but then spend the whole time angry or anxious, thinking you should be off in your writing cave or whatever.
Why is it so freaking HARD to stop procrastinating?? You’ve got the notes app, the post-its, the bullet journal… (I mean, it’s here somewhere, under the unopened mail, maybe?), the Day-Timer, the habits tracker, the kitchen timer, the carrot, the stick…
All those tools can work when you use them in the right place and the right time. But these tools are each treatments for one small manifestation of your avoidance of your creative work. In order to figure out how to stop procrastinating, you have to tackle the larger reasons you’re doing it in the first place.
Treat the underlying problem, not just the symptoms
Imagine you went to the doctor with fainting spells, a pounding headache, spots in your vision, and a fever, and your doctor says, “well, take some aspirin for that fever, and the rest of it will probably take care of itself…”
You would find a new doctor.
But what that Bad Doctor did is exactly what you’re doing when you download a new to-do list app because you feel totally out of control of your time. A shinier to-do list will not fix the underlying problem.
But how do you do that?
You need to uncover exactly what’s stopping you, so you can put in place a plan to address those specific obstacles and stop procrastinating.
The core principle I teach to creative people struggling to stop procrastinating is CONSCIOUS DECISION.
There are two parts to this concept.