Since this month’s contest is Excuses, I figure what better time to post Procrastination Solutions.

Here are a few things you can try to slay the procrastination monster:

1. Make your computer distraction-proof.
Turn off the wi-fi, log off of your social networking sites, and check your email later in the day … or at least only once per hour. It is difficult to be productive when you are constantly hearing the “you’ve got mail” ding or watching for Twitter and Facebook updates. I interviewed a TV-writer a couple years ago who told me she writes in her basement because there is no internet signal. Productivity experts, such as Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, and Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check E-Mail In the Morning, promote this way of working.*

2. Work now, reward later.
One of the most difficult things to do is to set and keep a self-imposed deadline, especially if you are writing something on spec. There is no actual deadline, so why not procrastinate an un-paid project and do something fun instead! That’s why it is so important to post goals where others can see them or have a goal-buddy. Although the biggest reward is getting your writing done, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special once you hit the finish line on a project.

3. Write something else.
I realize that sounds like yet another procrastination technique. However, if you are having trouble getting into or continuing a project, it may help to work on something else. If you are working on a novel or screenplay, write a short story or essay … or enter a writing contest. Something that you can get excited about – and complete – will really help to get your writing engine going! And, if in the process, you find a long-term project you’d rather work on, that’s fine. Better to write something you are jazzed about than to suffer through a project out of obligation. You can always go back to an older project when you have a rejuvenated spirit!

This article was previously posted on


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  1. Dana DuGan 11 years ago

    Oh Debra, those are too easy. What to do about need to multi-task, pay bills, find money to pay daughter’s college tuition, find out what is wrong with my insurance, walk the dog? Eat.

  2. Author
    Debra Eckerling 11 years ago

    Yes, all those are important. I am a big fan of the 15-minutes-a-day philosophy, especially for those who have so many other commitments. If you put even a little time daily into a passion project, you will progress.

    Here’s the link to my post on Goal Setting and Productivity:

  3. Mariah Williams 11 years ago

    I like these, Deb! Especially #1. When wireless internet went down where I’m living/working presently, I initially thought the hassle of connecting via cable might slow down my writing progress. But having the option to unhook internet connection anytime makes it even easier to shut off distractions, and I can still change locations in the house while writing off-line. Just may want to keep it this way!

  4. Melissa 11 years ago

    Dear Debra – I was thrilled to find your website whilst…procrastinating! I am 10,000 words short of finishing my first book – a memoir from Africa. This final stretch is excruciating, especially when it’s only grey and cold outside. But instead of complaining about the weather, I will be grateful. The weather, at least is not tempting me to procrastinate further. Thank you for your words of support, your excellent articles and for the being the life saving beakon on this foggy journey!

  5. Author
    Debra Eckerling 11 years ago

    Awesome, Mariah! Thanks.

    Thanks for your comment, Melissa. Best of luck, and please keep us posted.

    Has everyone posted their February goals?

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