There's a very funny copywriter named Ann Handley. She wrote a book called Everybody Writes
that is hilarious and really helpful. If you're writing anything at all, we recommend it.
She wrote a newsletter recently about procrasti-straction.
“Why are procrastination and distraction chronic handicaps? You plan to write and send your brother a text and the next thing you know you're watching the top 20 Betty White TV moments on YouTube." 😂
Why is it true, First name / Friend?! 😭
We all need help.
⚒️ Here are 5 tools to avoid the procrasti-straction of practicing (or anything else).
- Face why you may be procrastinating. Are you avoiding a feeling? Are you afraid it won’t go well? Are you delaying the inevitable pain of getting out from under the blanket? Facing the underlying cause of the procrastination can be helpful because then you can face the truth and move on! The more you practice facing the hard thing and not giving into the comfort of now, the easier it will get.
- Set the bar unbelievably low. Count to 5, and do the thing for 5 minutes.
- Do a distraction analysis. Is it the phone that’s the problem? Computer? Your own brain? Too much music on the stand? Not a clear goal? Your environment shapes your productivity, so spend an extra minute thinking about it today.
- Simply be aware of how many times you say to yourself “I need to practice” today. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have that voice on repeat? Set a small goal and just do it. Practice. Take it from there.
- Observe when distraction or procrastination are at their worst. This could be in the 3pm slump, or on Fridays, or maybe in a certain season. Maybe it’s best not to try to practice then if there's any other option. We’ve talked about reserving the easiest tasks for the time of day you’re least motivated. This is a similar approach.
✍️ And, here’s 3 bonus ones for writing from Ann:
- 750Words delivers points and badges based on output. It's based on the idea from The Artist's Way of writing three pages (or 750 words) daily.
- Ommwriter offers a clean, minimalist writing experience for focused, distraction-free writing. Similar are Zen Writer and ZenPen.
- Cold Turkey allows you to blacklist or block certain sites or servers for a set period of time if you are powerless against the compulsion to check what's happening with Betty White's estate since her death.
We don’t want you to go around telling yourself “I should practice, I need to practice, why haven’t I practiced” all day.
Your brain has better things to focus on, like how you’re going to change the world!
Have a great week and be nice to each other out there.
Tiffany, Ixi & Ted