Create a Productive Environment

If you have made the decision to stop delaying on a particular writing project, it is critical that you find a place to work where you have at least half a chance of actually getting some writing done. Your bedroom may not be the place where you are most productive. Ditto the living, family, dining or kitchen area. If you have a laptop computer, try going someplace where you can’t connect to the Internet (e-mail and the Web are the bane of the procrastinator’s existence—as you probably already know). If you are a procrastinator, then chances are you are already pretty exasperated; don’t risk frustrating yourself even more by trying to write in an environment that doesn’t meet your needs.

[CAUTION: The most skilled procrastinators will be tempted to take this suggestion too far, spending an inordinate amount of time "creating a productive environment" (cleaning, filing, etc.) and not nearly enough time actually writing. Don't fall into that trap! While cleaning and filing are indeed worthy and necessary activities, if you only do this when you have an approaching writing deadline, then you are procrastinating.]

While you are thinking about where to write, consider also when you will write. When are you most alert? Is it at 8 a.m., mid-morning, mid-afternoon, early evening, or late at night? Try to schedule writing time when you know you will be at your best. Don’t worry about when you “should” be able to write; just focus on when you are able to write.