Thursday, February 11, 2010

On Staying Motivated

Even the most productive and prolific writer has a slowdown from time to time. So, as any good writer would do, I’m blogging about getting things done when you just don’t feel like writing.

I admit that I seem to have hit a winter slump, and it’s getting harder to find the energy and motivation to follow through on many of my projects—definitely not a good thing since I have regular work that needs to be completed, and weekly deadlines that I have to meet, not to mention looming deadlines for a few larger projects. Even with all of this in mind, I find that I really have to drag myself to the keyboard every day, and when I get there, I’m not exactly working the whole time (stupid Facebook!)

I hit these slow times every few months, when I’m just not at the top of my game and don’t feel like putting sentences together. But as we all know, the work doesn’t wait, so here are a few tricks I use to still be productive even when I don’t necessarily want to be:

Blog about it. I committed to my blog last summer, and I’ve been posting regularly except for a few unusually busy weeks when I couldn’t seem to get anything done besides grading papers. Lately I’ve been writing about my own experiences, and sharing even the most basic struggles with everyone—including not feeling like writing! (We’ve all been there, right?)

Start working on other projects. During my slower times, in my book even doing prep work or researching for upcoming pieces counts as work—it’ll have to get done at some point, so why not start working on it when you know you still need to be productive, but the writing itself just doesn’t seem to be happening?

Tackle the smaller, less time-consuming projects. I was feeling exceptionally lazy this past weekend—I’d had a killer week at work and just wanted to take it easy—so I finally sat down and worked through quite a few smaller things that didn’t take up too much time, but I’d just been putting them off. I still felt like I’d accomplished something, and the more annoying tasks are finally taken care of.

Make a manageable to-do list. If you do have deadlines to meet and no other choice but to hunker down and get writing, get as much done in one sitting as possible. Write yourself a list to stay on track, but don't include every single thing that you have going, or else you'll just feel overwhelmed and barely make a dent in your list. I just jotted down some of the things I'm hoping to get finished today before I started this post—I have my weekly assignments to complete and some class-related things to take care of…a total of 6 things. Definitely doable.

How do you power through when you just don’t feel motivated?

No comments:

Post a Comment