by David Silverman
According to writer-therapist Dennis Palumbo, a friend, Facebook friend and personal mentor, procrastination is ultimately about a fear of being judged. He tells his clients (screenwriters, tv writers, and novelists), that instead of obsessing about it, they should write about it, as a dialogue with themselves, or as if they were writing a letter to themselves.
1. Ironically, often just writing about procrastination gets a writer writing, and, this is in itself a cure. This simple process helps many of his clients. Further exploration of these underlying beliefs can be done in therapy, but that’s not something you can do now.
(If you do want therapy, remember Dennis is out in the Godforsaken Valley somewhere, while I’m centrally located in West LA).
BuddyHive.com is a website that links procrastinators up to “buddies,” who will hold them accountable. Without going into therapy, you can look inward, and try to figure out the nature of the kinds of task you find difficult and which emotions or behaviors are at play. Examples are:
Unpleasant tasks, complex projects, fear of failure (lack of self confidence) and fear of success, indecision, lack of interest, and distraction (or lack of focus). They recommend:
2. Complete unpleasant tasks first.
3. Break complex jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks.
4. With fears, maintain focus on the end result, and remember how good it will feel to finish.
5. For indecision, make a deadline to make a decision, and keep to it.
6. For lack of interest, schedule tasks for when you’re at your peak and reward yourself.
7. For distraction, make it a rule not to leave the desk until a smaller task is done and prioritize.