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!