Procrastination Buster Number One: Talk to Yourself
“March on, my soul, and be strong!” Judges 5:21
Yes, sometimes we need to talk to ourselves. We do it all the time – but usually the talk is negative. “You can’t do it.” “You’ll embarrass yourself.” “I will never get published.” This kind of self talk gets you nowhere.
Instead, motivate yourself to get to work with a good talking-to. Here are two examples from The Moon and I, by Betsy Byars.
I say, “Betsy, there is a writer in Kansas who is working on the exact same book that you are working on. And this writer is not sitting on the sofa watching Road Runner cartoons like you are doing. She is at her word processor. And if you don’t get up this minute and turn off the TV and start writing, you are going to open the newspaper one morning and see KANSAS WRITER WINS COVETED AWARD FOR SNAKE BOOK. And what are you going to do then?”
I say, “Betsy, this Friday you’re going on a trip, and when you come back from your trip, this same lousy manuscript is going to be sitting right here. And you know how much you hate to come home to a lousy manuscript. Give yourself a break. Just rewrite the first chapter.”
We can often talk ourselves into a good day’s work.
Here’s what we tell ourselves to get going and overcome procrastination:
“Laurie, God gave you this day and you only have it once. Don’t waste it on Facebook.”
“Betsy, what do you want to write in your journal tomorrow morning? I finished my chapter or I finished twenty games of solitaire?”
“Laurie, what if you don’t write today and miss something that God has for you. It could be the book of the century but you Googled chicken recipes instead.”
“Betsy, you are God’s worker and He deserves better than this crossword puzzle.”
A good talking-to can get us going.
What do you tell yourself to get started?
Laurie and Betsy, The Writing Sisters
Photo of Samson by Laurie Myers (Many treats were involved!)