Oh, that sweet procrastination. For many writers, myself included, it is a constant problem that can seriously undermine productivity. When I have a hard time getting started because of procrastination, I try to explain it by a lack of inspiration. You know what I mean, right?
Instead of writing, I would engage in various activities, such as browsing the net for news and memes. Of course, the end result was pretty much disappointing: zero words written, hours of time wasted.
When I heard about a technique called a daily writing ritual (it is sometimes called a morning ritual), I got interested. I mean I have been wasting a lot of time and desperately needed a serious boost of productivity.
So I started browsing the net (this time for a good reason). Eventually, I liked what I found because the technique was promising in terms of improving productivity and spurring further productivity later the same day.
Here are the reasons why a writer should adopt this ritual.
Reason #1: As the day continues, you lose focus. This is so true! Even if you prefer to work during the day and totally oppose working in the morning or evening, stuff can get you really busy during the day. In some cases, that stuff can be urgent, so you won’t even have a chance to start writing.
So, I found that creating a morning ritual was more beneficial for productivity because it provided focus. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Reason #2: You begin, no excuses. “The beginning is more than half of the whole” – this quote by Aristotle perfectly illustrates this point. It is critical to begin writing even if you don’t have a clear idea of the entire story, the inspiration will come.
The point here is to get the process underway, so you won’t have excuses like “I don’t know what I am going to write about” again.
Reason #3: Productivity time. This one actually applies to early birds and night owls as well. I found that mornings are the quietest time of the day for the “birds” while the same could be said about the evening for the “owls.”
This is the productivity time! Now, you work three times fast as usual, so you should really take advantage of it.
Reason #4: Routine still works! I know the routine is boring. But it works. By sticking to a schedule, you increase the chances of getting the work done, science says. The reason for this is simple: it ensures order in your actions.
Clearly, the lack of order will result only in one outcome: a chaos. Of course, some writers require a little bit of chaos, but if you want to be a professional writer, you better think of getting stuff done.
So what do you think of these reasons? Are they good enough for convincing you to start a daily ritual? Clearly, it has a lot of potential benefits that you can use. If you’re convinced, so was I. And we made the right choice now, my dear reader.
We were right to make this decision because it really helped me (this means that it will help you to be more productive as well).
Now, the question you want to ask is: “How do I do it?” That’s the spirit! Let me walk you through my personal approach to this method. In the section below, I will outline the tips that you could adopt for yourself.
1. Victory loves preparation
I love this saying because it makes sense in almost everything we writers do. Well, imagine the situation: you are a morning person and you decided to create a morning daily writing ritual.
You wake up in the morning and opened your laptop to begin writing (or maybe you use pen and paper, that’s cool too). But what should you do exactly? Just start typing?
This situation I just described illustrated a poorly prepared ritual. The secret of a good ritual is to prepare the night before and get everything cleared up.
In addition to having your writing tool ready, you should clear away all distractions, prepare the stuff to make some coffee to tea, and prepare yourself mentally. “I can do it” works just fine.
2. Time is of the essence
By this, I don’t mean that you should hurry up to starting writing but rather define a particular time for the start. Take me, for example.
I wake up at 7.00 am every morning and start writing at 7.30 am after I am done with all stuff like the bathroom, coffee, and breakfast. Don’t be disappointed if you can’t start right away because you should be prepared for this.
If you start right away, you might fail because you will feel the need for the meal and so on. After you get all morning stuff done, take your writing tool and get to work! At that point, the “time is of the essence” rule applies!
3. Eating and Drinking
Whenever you start your ritual in the morning or the evening, you need to make sure that the process won’t be interrupted by visits to the kitchen every half an hour.
Get yourself something to eat and make a cup of your favorite coffee, you’ve got a long time of writing ahead of you! Whatever meal and drink you prefer, have them just before the beginning of the ritual.
They will make you and your stomach feel satisfied and comfortable.
4. Stay Away from Distractions
I made that mistake once during the first week of my ritual and it ruined the whole day. After writing for twenty minutes, I decided to check my email and opened it.
Of course, there were some unread messages there and I answered them. After returning to writing, the focus was never the same and I lost it. That was a major disappointment.
So please, never try to check emails, social media, or whatever site that could undermine your focus by distracting you. Trust me. It ruined my day, it’ll do the same to you.
After successful completion of your first day of the ritual, why not celebrate it? You’ve done a tremendous job preparing yourself and keeping your focus on writing. And you produced some great work!
You can choose how you celebrate yourself but make sure that it satisfies you.
6.Practice, practice, practice
Ok, now that celebration is done, you need to remember that ritual has not yet become a habit. It takes time. It took me almost three weeks to get it into my routine, and I was pleased with my productivity.
So, practice the ritual as described above and don’t let that sweet procrastination get in the way. You failed even if you skipped one time!
Over to you!
That’s basically it. That’s my way of creating a daily writing ritual that proved to be effective for me. If it sounds not so bad for you, how about trying to create one yourself? You’ll beat procrastination and be more productive!
Mastering this ritual will get you used to the habit of writing every day because you’ll see that it works. Isn’t this awesome?
Diana Clark is a passionate writer who draws the inspiration from something that really means the most to her: her lovely readers. Diana is a writing expert at College papers. Follow Diana on Twitter.