7 Ways to Kick Procrastination in its Ugly Face

Ugh, procrastination.

Chances are, if you’re a creative person, you’re all too familiar with procrastination.

Procrastination might feel like it works well in the short term but, but ultimately it sucks a lot of joy from your life. Giving in to procrastination can give you a reputation for being flaky or irresponsible. It can keep you from pursuing things that bring you happiness, and can actually breed a lot of fear and anxiety into your life.

First of all, let’s talk about what procrastination is:

Procrastination is when you find yourself doing and just about anything to avoid doing something in particular. That may mean that you find yourself scrolling through social media for hours in order to avoid doing the dishes. It may mean you keep yourself busy with other tasks so you feel like you’re getting stuff done, but ultimately you’re just pushing off something else.

When it comes to songwriting or making any kind of art, procrastination can show up in the process as well – usually in the form of fear or exhaustion.

Procrastination can happen when we are not looking forward to exerting the amount of mental (and sometimes physical) energy that it requires to write a song.

Songwriting is definitely not always relaxing. It can be cathartic, which is amazing and necessary, but also a huge mental drain. And it’s not uncommon for you to want to put off a giant mental push when you know it’s coming, no matter how much you enjoy writing and how good it may feel after. Kind of like convincing yourself to go to the gym – you might love how you feel during and after your workout, but before you go, it may feel tiring and pointless.

And just like I stated above, this kind of thinking can rob you of a lot of the joy that comes from writing songs. But the good news is, the more you learn about songwriting, the less intensive it becomes. You start to take pressure off yourself as you grow and gain confidence in your skills – and you can begin to approach writing from the place of comfortability rather than exhaustion!

Some of the common things your head will tell you

Here’s how to recognize procrastination by some of the common thoughts you may have when you start to think about writing a new song:

  • “Oh man, I’m exhausted already.”
  • “I’ll do it… in a minute.”
  • “Oh wait, let me do this one thing first, it needs to get done. I’ve been putting it off all day!”
  • “I’m scared to write a new song – it will probably suck, anyway.”
  • “What’s the point??”

What you can do to kick procrastination before it starts

Once you know how to recognize procrastination as it’s beginning to start, you can then employ some of these techniques to stop it dead in its stupid tracks!

1. Make a songwriting schedule and stick to it.

When you take the time to sit down and figure out your schedule, you literally have no excuse to ever say “I don’t have time to do this.” You know exactly when you have time to write, so you don’t procrastinate and use that time wisely!

Here are two articles to help you reign in your schedule:

2. Schedule in some cowrites

Often times, writing with a cowriter can help pick yourself up if you are in a slump or feeling really bad about your writing. It’s wonderful to have a great cowriter to lean on during our low times. If you’ve been procrastinating on writing on your own, book a session with a cowriter and come up with something together!

3. Eliminate distractions

If you find you get easily distracted, do your self a huge favor and eliminate those distractions. Put your phone on do not disturb, close the door, turn off your Wi-Fi– whatever it takes!

4. Practice the right kind of thinking

Whenever you feel procrastination creeping up on you, practice a healthy thought pattern instead. Shut down the negative thoughts immediately. The moment you start to think “Well, I’m just going to go do XYZ–” immediately tell yourself “Nope” and get back to writing.

5. Share your work

A wonderful way to start feeling good about your writing is to share it with other people! Post your work on Facebook or Instagram (follow SongFancy and we’ll share it!) and share it with your family and friends. This can motivate you to want to write more!

6. Join a songwriting challenge

There’s nothing quite like a good bootcamp or challenge to kick your own booty! Come join our very own 5 in 5 Song Challenge and write five songs in five days with hundreds of other SongFancy writers. We have a good time, and procrastination is not allowed in the writing room!

7. Set goals for yourself

Without goals, it can feel a bit pointless. Without them, you don’t get to see how far you’ve come, of feel the elation that comes from reaching a milestone. Set some goals for yourself and your songwriting. When you start to meet those goals, you will be energized and forget all about procrastinating!


 

The 5 in 5 songwriting challenge includes a songwriting contest portion. Check it out at bit.ly/5songs5days

New Challenge dates have been announced!

Save your seat for the next 5 in 5 Song Challenge and write 5 songs in 5 days with a fantastic group of SongFancy songwriters! Use the form below to sign up or get more info at bit.ly/5songs5days

7 ways to kick PROCRASTINATION in it's UGLY FACE. || SongFancy, songwriting tips and inspiration for the contemporary songwriter.

Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer is an award winning singer/songwriter based in Nashville, TN. Born in the Sunshine State, Sarah Spencer writes vibrant, shining americana/pop music. She works in Nashville TN as a singer/songwriter, as well as a UX designer for a marketing firm. You can listen to her music at SarahSpencer.com or purchase her debut EP, "Freshman Year" on iTunes.
  • Jeff Hanke

    Thanks Sarah!

    I needed this type of information… I’m a chronic procrastinator :( Always have been… Not quite sure why… but with this information, I’ll be able to tackle more songwriting (and other things too…) thanks for the tips :)

    • Sarah Spencer

      It’s a struggle! But sometimes just taking a moment to sit and ask yourself honestly, “Ok, why am I pushing this off?” is a good way to get in touch with the real reason *why* you’re procrastinating. A lot of times it comes down to fear! best of luck :)

      • Jeff Hanke

        You may be right about the fear factor… (hey, that could be a cool show… wait a minute, I’m dating myself :D ). I’ve always been a bit gun shy to move forward on the things I want to do and as such, I do them more by committee than anything else just from the fear of doing something wrong… (I’m moving ahead on my album Come Up Like The Phoenix now, on my own, as a result… Setting the schedule this afternoon after studio clean up chores :) ). Thanks for the pickup :)

        • Sarah Spencer

          Ahhh have so much fun recording!!