Freelance Writers’ No. 1 Enemy: The 5-Point Death Kill to Eliminate Procrastination

Frustration clouds your thoughts.

It’s the specter only you can see, hear and feel.

It gently runs its fingers through your hair and lulls you away from every great idea you’ve had.

It’s always there. Taunting you. Sitting next to you on the sofa, filling your head with thoughts of “I’ll get my writing project done tomorrow” instead of today.

This friendly, unproductive ghost is your No. 1 Enemy, and its name is Procrastination.

Sherlock's Mind Palace


5-Point Death Kill: How to Combat Your Attention Span’s Arch-Nemesis

After years of being beaten down by freelance writing project deadlines, I decided to make changes in my professional practices to kill Procrastination.

Everyday I pick up a ball-point pen and put it to lined notebook paper, writing down every goal I’d like to accomplish in one day. After 10 minutes of creating this daily task and projects list, I get things done like a BOSS.

Listed are my 5 killer points of attack:

  1. Eliminate distractions before creating your project list.
    Freelance writers possess an intellectual table of information and creativity. Before they are able to share the wealth, writers must quiet their minds by eliminating distractions to the writing process. By turning off television sets, music apps and letting the dog out, freelance writers must work within the silence. Let go, find your “mind palace” and start writing.
  2. Create daily freelance writing project lists, prioritizing the most deadline sensitive items first.
    Every freelance writing job seems like a top priority. The reality is that some projects are more pressing than others. Distinguishing the most important writing assignments from the lesser ones help freelance writers manage time efficiently.
  3. Concentrate on one project at a time.
    Competing for your attention and time, writing jobs need to be addressed with concentration. By approaching each job, one at a time, freelancer writers are able hone their talents with care.
  4. Time your time.
    A freelance writer’s time is valuable. Don’t waste it. The best way to gauge freelance writing productivity is with Keeping smart phones on silent or out of reach completely helps freelance writers focus on the tasks at hand. Social media maven Sue Rostvold impressed this upon me years ago.
  5. Give yourself a break.
    Freelance writers must develop a belief in the power of naps. After an hour of work, I take a 10-15 min writing break to do whatever I want… usually, it’s stepping outside for a breath of fresh air and gentle aerobic movements, take a nap or meditate. Get back into the groove of work immediately after the break is over.

Givin’ Up The Ghost

As freelance writers, we’ve all experienced an overwhelming lack of focus. I’d argue that no one is immune to deficits in concentration. The mind wanders. Ideas shift.

Don’t be ashamed of the silent enemy. Fight back.

I’m not an expert on the subject of attention spans or deficits. I can only speak to my experience. If you need to consult your family physician for ADHD or other disorders, please do so today. I mean it – this blog post might be fun but if you need a doctor, you’d better get your hot crossed buns over to one.


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Freelance Writers’ No. 1 Enemy: The 5-Point Death Kill to Eliminate Procrastination