View Full Version : How do you beat procrastination?

The Dragon
04-25-2013, 11:05 AM
Hey Everyone!

So in the course of my map making adventures, I am often tempted away by the myriad of distractions the internet has to offer. Some of them can't be avoided, such as keeping on top of things on twitter. Yet many things, such as browsing silly things on you tube or trawling through news sites or webcomics can be the death of creativity.

How do you stay on task? What tips can you offer us poor sufferers of procrastination? Or do you procrastinate yourself and want to share your woes?

Happy Posting :)

04-25-2013, 12:10 PM
Twitter? Unavoidable? hahahahaha... ahem. Sorry.

Seriously though, strengthen your will power. Give yourself permission to browse in curiosity on one specific day of the week. If you come across an interesting link or video on any other day, add the link to a bookmarks folder labeled for that week and get back to work. Then, on your preordained Browsing Day, you can open up that folder and explore to your heart's content. Eventually you'll realize that most of the links you've bookmarked are dreadfully uninteresting. You'll begin to hear a tiny, albeit incessant, voice in your head whenever you're about to bookmark something not worth the time to bookmark.

04-25-2013, 04:27 PM
Yep, it all comes down to willpower. I am Captain Lazy, constantly allowing myself to get sidetracked and distracted by the new shiny. I have only myself to blame.

One thing I've started doing in my writing is setting my alarm for about 2 hours earlier than I normally would have. Once I wake up in the morning, I have a hard time falling asleep, so this allows me to grumble and gripe, roll out of bed, shower, and write for a couple of hours before I have to get ready to go to work.

I would say just find what motivates you, what works best for you, and set a goal. I quite smoking about a year and half ago by setting goals of when I would step down to X amounts of cigs per day, etc, and giving myself little rewards when I attained a goal (steak dinner at a nice restaurant, etc, etc).

edit: Twitter. LOL. :D

04-25-2013, 04:41 PM
I used to be a procrastinator, but that was before I got serious about creating maps and game design - activities I spend most of my evening time with over the last 6 years.

The first thing I did, was stopped watching television altogether. (I do have Netflicks and will watch a movie sometime during the evening, but never more than 1 show.) I check my Email, facebook, and follow up various threads I posted in to the various forums I visit - I do this half a dozen times during the day. But I otherwise never Twitter or waste my time doing other nonessential online activity.

Consider that now I do commissioned maps for various 3PP RPG publishers, I am working on detailing (with labels) regional maps for the upcoming Kaidan GM's and Player's Guides. In the mean time, I am working on my own series of map supplements for my published setting. While the Kickstarter project development has deviated from my normal schedule, before that project started we were releasing one Kaidan supplement or module every month for 12 months straight. I do all the page layout for all Kaidan releases for Rite Publishing. And this is my evening work, since I own and operate a graphic design/digital print studio in the day time, which prevents me from doing any map/game work during the day.

I've gotten more things accomplished in the last 6 years, than in the previous 35+ years. As Diamond states, it's pure will power that gets me through it.

04-25-2013, 06:33 PM
I'll answer your question tomorrow.

04-26-2013, 07:54 PM
For me, it doesn't matter if it's writing or drawing cartoons, I have two keys to beating procrastination:

1) Outline/plan.
For writing I have a standardized template that I start with, no matter what. For cartooning, I always start with a circle for a head. Every cartoon. This beats the problem of staring at a blank page. Having this process established leads immediately to number 2.

2) Create a habit.
A habit is a process that begins out of a trigger. Habits are important because they are "free energy". Take brushing your teeth. How much effort does it take to brush your teeth after putting toothpaste on the toothbrush? It takes me none because brushing is a habit. As soon as I have my outline or circle, I can immediately, and without expenditure of energy, get started.

So, find something to start with as a trigger every time
It could even be just playing a particular piece of music, but having that trigger will make an incredible difference in beating procrastination.

04-27-2013, 01:38 AM
the internet is both my best friend and my greatest enemy. i have my daily websites i impulsively check... every few minutes :s really cuts down on my productivity, especially when writing. sadly i dont do much about it.

also i work shifts, which really makes it difficult to set up a routine. one thing ill cherish if i ever get a job with regular hours and weekends off is setting u pa routing, where i set aside a few internetless hours every day to myself to write/draw/whatever

with regards to motivation, its walking home at night listening to my epic movie soundtrack mix on my mobile, particularly in the rain. i get really inspired, though its usually late at night so ill be heading home to sleep :s

The Dragon
04-28-2013, 03:18 PM
These are all good! And yes, I know, Twitter... it's my worst habit.

I find going for walks in my local forest helps, especially when it's quiet. Something about it can focus the mind quite well!

04-28-2013, 04:30 PM
I have tried beating procrastination with a stick and all I have for it are bruises.

The surest way that I have found to avoid delays in getting something done is to have someone else waiting on it, preferably someone who you don't want to annoy. External motivation is a powerful force.

05-02-2013, 07:43 AM
This was a very close subject during the recent challenge. I would find other things to distract me (Skyrim) and wander away from doing what I was supposed to do. What I found that helped me is that I would force myself to sit down, read all my forums once, and then open the map. Usually if I did something, even if it didn't work out, I *did something*. From there it became easier to cascade into a lot of doing something. Some of my most productive days were ones that I had to literally force myself to focus. So I suppose I am in the "matter of sheer will power" group. Wanting to get something done more than whatever distraction you've got going also helps.

I've never had to work for somebody else creatively, but considering how I am good at meeting work deadlines, I suspect that would be a help too.

05-09-2013, 05:48 PM
I do ok generally but I get distracted by alot.
For me, I get great inspiriation that I cant do anything about because im at work. Then when I get home I get distracted by lots of other things. Whats sad is most of those other things are things that need done...or things I want done. My biggest problem is being able to finish all the things that need doing, then doing the most productive things that I want to do...often I want to do my art, and mapping but after doing all the other things that needed done, im too lazy to to the things i want to do, so end up doing a computer game or reading a book.

I guess having a list of things to do, and setting priorities to it, and going through it like a checklist would help.

But question for you all...what about those days that are long and draining? how do you catch back up?

btw, a little about me so I seem less of a lazy person :P I am a single father of an 11 year old daughter with asburgers. :)

05-13-2013, 03:25 AM
Procrastination for me is research, so to beat I need to bring myself to admit I'm already an expert in the field and no additional research is needed. Which is tough!