A new year must be round the corner, because Bang2writers KEEP asking me about goal setting, productivity and ensuring writing gets done! 😉 One of the biggest problems B2Wers seem to have is procrastinating online – they tell me they spend waaaay too long chatting or watching cat videos or funny memes and gifs. So when Bernadine suggested this post, I was only too happy to hear her ideas — and I hope you are, too! Don’t forget to add your tips to the comments section, too. Enjoy …
It’s easy to procrastinate online. Dilly-dallying is never difficult, especially when you are working with just your computer in front of you. Maybe you have no boss or supervisor to physically check on you, or to make their intimidating presence felt, either! So, check these tips out for advice on how to stop procrastinating online and get your writing done:
1) Set immediate goals and plans
Procrastination often happens simply because you are unsure of what to do. That’s why it’s very important to have goals and plans. Make sure you have laid out the things you are supposed to do during your designated writing time. MORE: How To Set Meaningful Goals & Stick To Them
2) Break jobs into segments
One of the things that enable procrastination is the subconscious thinking that a task is too difficult. When you perceive something as overwhelmingly complicated or tedious, you end up not being able to start or proceed with it. To address this, divide the job into small parts or simpler steps and start with the easier ones.
3) Be realistic with what you can do
Don’t make unrealistic plans or schedules for your writing to avoid disappointing and frustrating yourself. This does not mean, though, that you can set excessive times for the completion of tasks. Don’t overestimate yourself and don’t overestimate a task.
4) Tweak your online work setting
Working online exposes you to a lot of distractions. It’s easy to load your social media page or YouTube and spend a lot of your time getting entertained with funny or interesting videos and posts. Temporarily block these websites through your modem/router or install a browser add-on. Don’t turn your messenger app on unless it is necessary. If you have games on your computer, consider uninstalling them for a while.
5) Remember, small distractions soon add up!
Often, people tend to think that watching short funny video clips on YouTube or social media won’t take up a lot of their time. Little do they know how they end up watching more and more “short” clips … and suddenly, they have already wasted more than an hour of their time! MORE: 10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer
6) Take a break
You could be procrastinating because you lack rest. Continuous work can lead to the buildup of stress and frustration that you end up subconsciously revolting against yourself. Take short breaks when embarking on long hours of writing.
7) Hang out with productive people
When working online (such as doing writing research), avoid communicating with people who are online because they just want to chat, watching some streaming videos, or scroll through social media. You may find it difficult to tell them that you are working, but there are such things as ‘mute’ buttons and ‘busy’ icons – use them!
8) Use the two-minute rule
The two-minute rule is a common tip you will likely find on many blogs online. It’s an anti-procrastination technique anchored on the following ideas:
- If it takes less than two minutes, do it now.
- When you start something, it should not take more than two minutes to do.
This is not something you have to take so literally, though. The idea here is simply for you to start working on something that is easy to do so you can get started.
9) Avoid biases against certain tasks
You could be subconsciously not starting with a task yet because you simply don’t it. It could be your preconceptions that are making you procrastinate. Identifying if this is the case can help, especially if you combine it with numbers 8 or 4 on this list!
10) Use productivity tools
There are tons of tools available online and you can even find freeware or those you can use without the fees. These are usually time management and scheduling tools. Bang2write uses Hootsuite, for example – which means setting up tweets, blogs etc can be done in advance, making B2W more efficient and more productive. MORE: The Importance, Benefits & Value of Goal Setting
To address procrastination, make sure that you REALISE you are procrastinating, plus identify those things that can tempt you away from your writing. Only then can you pinpoint the reasons why you tend to procrastinate and do something about it. Good luck!
BIO: Bernadine Racoma is a senior content writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. After her long stint as an international civil servant, she has aggressively pursued her interest in writing and research. She has notable fondness for things related to technology, travel, lifestyle, social media, and current affairs. She is also an advocate and mother to 7 successful children.