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“Have you done anything productive today?”
My mom’s words the moment she stepped into the living room where I was sprawled on the couch, lounging in front of the TV.
Hmmm. No. Bumming is more like it.
“Yeah, I have. I just watched two Disney Channel shows, one HBO movie, and American Dad on Fox. What’s more productive than that?”
Okay. That wasn’t exactly the kind of productive activity she was expecting from me. But still productive.
Mom shook her head and mumbled as she went upstairs, “No wonder you haven’t finished the novel you’ve been working on for months.”
Smack! Right in the face.
That did it.
I reached for the remote, flipped the TV off and dragged my fat ass inside my room where my laptop sat untouched atop the computer table.
I approached it ever so slowly, turned it on, and opened my novel’s file.
Now here comes the problem. Dragging your ass to work is one thing. Programming your fresh-from-procrastination-and-yet-to-be-productive mind to start writing again is another.
I decided I’d get some work done anyway. I’ve come this far, haven’t I? And by far, I meant ‘staring blankly at my computer screen’ far.
So what did I do?
I took a deep breath, stood up and went back into the living room.
Kidding. Here’s the guide:
Write, write, write
One of the great things I like about a being a writer is the moment you start writing, the words start to come out naturally. And when they do, there’s no stopping them. It’s like you’ve turned a faucet on and a continuous stream of water suddenly runs from it. Then the next thing you know, you’re already scrambling to keep up.
It doesn’t matter if the words didn’t make sense at first. Hey, that’s what revision is for, remember?
Get away from any distraction
This is hard. Especially when you live in a house full of distraction just waiting to happen. Sometimes I feel like living in a cave for a while. I heard caves are really good for unproductive writers.
But if you can’t find a cave near you, you can always lock yourself up inside your room and tune everything else out.
Embrace the guilt trip
This one never fails. I don’t know about you but whenever I feel like slacking (which I always do), I immediately feel a sense of guilt. Like there’s a voice telling me, “Those articles and book chapters ain’t going to write themselves, you know.”
Needless to say, I usually ignore it.
NO to Social Media.
At least for a while, anyway.
In my years of mastering the techniques of procrastination, I recently realized the pattern leading into that black hole.
It all started with a single research. It may be a phrase, a word, or an idea for a scene. Then what do you know?
I’m already halfway browsing through my Twitter Timeline, Facebook News Feed, and Instagram Feed. Sometimes I feel like Social Media is one gigantic vacuum that keeps on sucking you in.
So to be safe, just focus on your research.
But hey, if your article piece is titled “How To Lurk On Your Facebook Crush In Four Easy Steps,” then who am I stop you?