The urge to get up and get on with things can sometimes disappear and as we all know, it can be difficult bringing it back. Procrastination has been around as long as goals have because if there is a goal in sight, there is a looming thought of procrastination that lingers with it.
As bloggers, our goals are endless. Once achieved, ten new ones arise and it can be a very overwhelming process.
We are no strangers to procrastination which isn’t the worst thing but it’s important that we know how to bring ourselves out of it, turn the laptop on and start creating once again.
I personally experience a bad spell of procrastination every few months. Why? I run multiple projects and jobs at the same time. Meaning, I’m normally working 16 hour days, every single day. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on being busy – that is how I work so well but every so often the candle burns out and I procrastinate for a few days.
I have just come out of my procrastination phase that lasted 5 entire days. This is the longest it has ever gone on for and that made it more difficult than ever. Normally, my motivation comes back or something excites me to get my laptop on but this time, I had to physically force myself to get back into it.
Using the 13 tips below really helped me find that motivation and overcome procrastinating in blogging.
What is procrastination + the cause of it?
Before we dive into the wonders of getting out of a funk, what even is procrastination?
Imagine procrastination as a locked gate. On the other side of the gate, there is everything you love. In order to get through the gate, you have to walk for 1 mile to get the key. Meaning you know the goal, you know the reward but you really can’t be bothered walking a mile for the key.
Therefore you don’t complete your goal because you’re too busy worrying about the journey, the setbacks you might have etc.
That is procrastination.
Procrastinating is when you block yourself from reaching goals, chasing after your wildest dreams and going after what you really want in life.
Maybe you’re thinking, why on earth would we stop ourselves from getting exactly what we want?
As humans, we find it difficult to accept failure and be in uncomfortable situations but going after your goals can include both failure and an uncomfortable journey.
Your brain is trying to pre-warn you.
‘This task is going to be super difficult. Are we sure we want to feel that way whilst we try to achieve our goals?’
Basically, we can be our own worst enemy because we are programmed to stay away from making ourselves feel uncomfortable.
We all love a bit of instant gratification
That feeling of gratification is like no other and our minds love it. Woo, you have done something good, you’re amazing! Things that give us instant gratification:
These things instantly make us feel better, for the moment, but before we know it, we are chasing that instant gratification once again.
For example: Losing weight and going to the gym is a difficult task to complete. Why? In order to see results, it can take weeks or even months to see a change in your body. Meaning you’re working every day by dieting and exercising without seeing results.
Whereas eating your favourite cake gives you instant gratification because it tastes great, at the time. Our bodies make the choice:
- Work hard for months and stay motivated without seeing results.
- Eating your favourite meal and enjoying it.
A lot of the time, people choose option two because it’s instant.
Although we are able to see that in the long run, not having that piece of cake will benefit us – it can be difficult to train your brain to wait if it’s not something you have done before.
How to overcome procrastining in blogging?
We have established what procrastination is and how it happens but how do we overcome procrastinating in blogging?
Here at my top 13 tips that helped me overcome those inner thoughts and achieve my goals.
Forgive yourself for procrastinating
We all do it. It’s almost impossible not to and takes a lot of practice to train your brain to overcome it. Therefore, when it happens – forgive yourself for taking that time away from your goals.
There’s no reason to beat yourself up about something that has already happened, why not focus on the future and how you’re going to overcome procrastinating in blogging and work on your goals again.
For example, on day four of my procrastination cycle, I said to myself…It’s been days since I looked at my blog. I’m a failure!
When in actual fact, all I needed was that push to go, you know what, it’s okay that I’ve not looked at my blog but how do I stop this from happening in the future. what measures can I take? That is the important part. How do you improve from the time before?
Well, the first step is forgiveness. Your empire is still standing, it may require a catch-up session or two but you know you can do that. You got this.
Break down your goals into smaller goals
When you’re pushing yourself back into the game and you see your goal to reach 10,000 page views but you’re only at 2,000 – your brain is going to shut down again. Why? Because your mind sees the goal out of reach and won’t provide instant gratification. After procrastinating, why would your mind want to work endlessly with no immediate results?
To overcome procrastinating in blogging, you need to break your goals down into smaller goals.
If your end goal of the year is to hit 10,000 that’s no problem, but how do we set mini goals within that.
Why not start with:
- Reach 2,500 page views
- 5,000 page views
- 7,500 page views
- Then finally your 10,000 views.
Instead of hitting that one goal, you now have four mini-goals within your main goal to reach and you should celebrate once you reach each milestone.
Showing your mind that you can work on something and feel gratification sooner than anticipated will really help you shift your procrastination.
Just work for 5 minutes to get started
I heard this tip before and it really helped me push through that procrastination urge. If your task is to spend two hours writing a blog post, your brain might be thinking, two hours??? That’s a long time. Instead, use the 5 minute rule to get you started.
The 5 minute rule is when you start working and you tell yourself you’re only working for 5 minutes. You aren’t going to get your blog post completed within 5 minutes but once you have completed your first 5 minutes, continuing to work won’t seem so difficult anymore.
5 minutes isn’t a long time. You can even set a timer if you like.
Once you get started your brain will start to notice that the task isn’t actually that bad and that if you continue to do it, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.
Using the 5 minute tool to start any task is a great way to trick your mind into getting up and going.
Track your progress
Progress reflection is important through your blogging journey as it’s a journey that doesn’t provide instant gratification. Therefore, we need to rely on other methods to keep us motivated.
- Progress sheets
- Progress pictures
Will help you stay on track and build the motivation you need to keep going.
I personally use a Google sheet and track all my metrics. I do this once per month as I found it difficult to maintain each week.
When creating a habit, it’s important to remember to make it reachable otherwise you won’t create a habit.
On the last day of each month, I go through all my blogging metrics, social media and email to see how well the blog has performed over the month. It’s not always positive, but again this just motivates me to try harder within that topic the following month.
I use a yearly spreadsheet, meaning I can see how far I’ve come from the start of the year. This is a great motivational tactic to get you to overcome procrastinating in blogging.
Look at how far you’ve come and how much your hard work has paid off already. Imagine where you could be in 6 months or a year if you keep up that dedication.
Your progress sheet doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple spreadsheet works.
Don’t let new plans take over the original plans
You know when you buy a new notepad, it’s shiny, new and sparkling and you just want to start writing in it, but you already have a notepad that has 10 pages left in it.
The urge you feel to start using the new notepad is something you need to fight against. Finish the old one first otherwise you’re wasting paper.
The same sort of thing happens when you’re given a new task whilst completing an old one. As a blogger, nothing is set in stone and things pop up throughout the day that needs to be done but it’s important to not let that ‘shiny new’ feeling take over.
Complete the task you’re on first and then move across to the new task.
This helps with overcoming procrastinating in blogging because before you know it, you’ll have 10 uncompleted tasks because you keep starting new ones. It’s then going to build up and become an overwhelming amount of tasks to finish.
A great tip for staying on track with your tasks is using Google Calendar to track your content for your blog. If a new task comes up, allocate time to it at a later date.
Start with the hardest tasks first
If you had to list all the tasks that you have that day and number them from 1 to 10 on how difficult it would be to complete the task, start with the most difficult task and work your way backwards.
If you have to complete the following:
- Write a 3,000 word blog post
- Write an email
- Create 1 tweet
Which task do you think would be the most difficult?
Yes, the 3,000 word blog post. If you start with the tweet, then the email and finish with the blog post, after completing the first two items on your list – you might think:
‘I’ve already completed 2 of my tasks for the day, that’s good! Or it will take me so long to write 3,000 words when I’ve already completed 2 writing tasks.
Getting the hardest task out the way first will help you complete all your tasks instead of just one or two. If you complete a 3,000 word blog post and feel a little tired, just remember!
You’ve already done the hardest part. Anything after that is going to be easier. This is a great tip for overcoming procrastinating in blogging.
Create deadlines for each of your tasks
Sometimes it can take days or even weeks to write a blog post but it’s important to create deadlines for your work to ensure that you are not spending too much time on them.
I know how quickly and efficiently I can work, therefore, I set myself reachable deadlines to complete a task. If a task is open-ended then it can be easy to think… I’ll just complete the task tomorrow. Instead, if you tell yourself – this post has to go live tonight, you are then setting yourself a reachable goal.
Again to track this, you can use simple and free tools like Google Calendar or Google Sheets.
A tip for creating deadlines. If you know it takes you roughly two hours to complete a piece of writing then allocate two hours. If you aim too high and give yourself only an hour – you could slip into procrastination again because the goal wasn’t reachable and can reduce motivation.
Remind yourself, Why am I doing this?
There is a reason you spent all those hours working on your blog. What was the reason?
This is where you have to remind yourself why you’re spending all the time and money on this project.
If you’re procrastinating because you’re scared to fail, remind yourself that you started this so that you could become a full-time content creator, leave your job and become financially independent. What’s the end goal?
Things to help you overcome procrastinating in blogging and remember your end goal:
- A vision board on your phone or laptop
- Post-it notes around the house with your goals written on them
- Reminders set on your phone for each day
These tasks are simple yet so effective when it comes to overcoming procrastination in blogging.
A great platform for creating vision boards is Canva. You can use both the free version and the paid version of Canva to create your vision board. Once created using their range of images, texts and graphics, you can download it as a PNG or JPEG and use it as your background on your mobile or laptop.
Automate tasks where you can
When you feel a procrastination spell coming on, ask yourself, is there any of my tasks that could be automated to save me time and effort.
If the answer is yes, then it’s easy to fix. Start using tools that will help you automate your work. These tools are not always at a cost as there are a number of incredible free tools out there for bloggers.
Having an overwhelming amount of work isn’t fun for anyone, therefore you need to create a streamlined process that will allow you to work the best you possibly can.
Tools that helped me overcome procrastinating in blogging:
- Tweet scheduler
- Google Calendar
All of the above tools contribute to my daily success and help me stay motivated and on track with what needs to be completed for that day.
Related: 13 tools that every blogger needs
Don’t strive for perfection
A common mistake when blogging is striving for perfection and that can be really damaging to your motivation.
When creating your blog, you have an overwhelming amount of work which can be difficult to process but bloggers often don’t publish their blog for a long period of time because it’s not perfect.
When the reality is, it’s not going to be perfect! Why compare your blog to another blog that has been around for years and could also have been created by a professional.
Don’t strive for perfection, strive for the best you can do in the current situation and work from there.
The term ‘perfection’ can bring on a procrastination series because your brain is thinking…being perfect is too difficult, let’s just chill out because that’s less stressful. It’s important to combat it and remember perfection isn’t the way to go.
Creating a habit reduces procrastinating
They say it takes 21 days to build a habit. Building habits is a great way to get your mind and body into a routine that can prevent procrastination.
I’ve talked about this method in previous posts, but I think if it’s relevant we should talk about it again.
When you’re creating a habit, your mind tries to convince you that you can’t be bothered and that it would just be easier to not try at all instead of trying and failing, because we don’t like failure.
If you want to do something but your mind is telling you that it’s too much effort – you have to push past that and just do it.
That is the simple advice for this section, just do it.
You could even combine this with the 5 minute rule to get your mind working. If you truly want to do something then you have to have the mind power to say, I am going to do this, regardless of how I feel.
Once you overcome those feelings, that’s when you start to develop a habit.
No more excuses – you do have time
A common phrase that recurring procrastinators say is ‘I don’t have time’.
Let’s be clear, some people are busier than others. If you’re working two jobs, of course, you’re going to have less time than someone who works one job. It’s about working on yourself instead of sitting on Tik Tok for 3 hours at night before you sleep, a very specific example but this is what I would do before I started to calendar block my time.
You need breaks and you time but you also need to make a choice. Is it more important to you to watch Tik Tok or do you think you’ll benefit from the extra work?
This is about taking accountability which we will be talking about a lot more on The Bloggers Incentive as it’s a great tool to use to reflect on your past actions within blogging and how you can improve for the future.
Remove distractions – phone time is a reward
Removing distractions is a great way to get focused and stop relying on your phone to give you bursts of happiness. Your phone and TV time should be treated as a reward for completing tasks so that you appreciate it more.
When you’re getting stuck into a big piece of writing, turn your phone on silent and sit it out of reach. Dedicate all your attention to that one task because it will provide better results.
Also, assign yourself TV time. It’s okay to have your time but allocate time.
For example, every Wednesday, I watch a TV Show. I take one hour out of my busy day to catch up and I look forward to it every Wednesday. This is an immediate reward and helps me work hard throughout the week.
Provide yourself with immediate rewards after completing a hard week. You deserve to kick back and relax, provided that you put the work in throughout the week.
How to overcome procrastinating in blogging
If you’re thinking, oh but I’m just a procrastinator. The reality is, everyone loves procrastinating but it’s about how much you want to change that start chasing those goals. I hope you have found the 13 tips for how to overcome procrastinating in blogging helpful and motivational.
It’s terrifying, isn’t it? Going after your dreams because that lingering thought of ‘what if it doesn’t work out’ hangs over our heads. In actual fact, failure is just a stepping stone to success. I love the quote:
Taking a step back allows you to see from a wider angle.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with tasks. Take one day at a time when you’re starting out.
- Set realistic goals that are reachable.
- Reward yourself for all the good things you have achieved.
- Take accountability, are you really doing enough for your blog?
- Create habits that stick.
You can overcome procrastinating in blogging! You got this!