How to stop procrastinating and start making art again
This has been an immeasurably helpful tool for me, picked up from Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.
We all know that feeling when we should be doing something. Writing lyrics or music. Writing jokes. Making progress on the narrative or play. And the last thing we want to do is actually sit down and do it. We'll do anything: Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, Naptime, Street Fight - just to keep from doing it.
Well, here's a pro tip. Just agree with yourself to do one very small, stupidly attainable goal. I encouraged a friend to write more music by giving him this provocation:
Just write one bad couplet.
Want to write more music? Trying to get back into songwriting? Sit down and agree that you only have to write one bad couplet.
"I feel that the hair of the dog is inside me
I wish someone would take Bey's advice and just bride me"
Done. And then, see if you don't want to write more. Maybe a different song. Obviously if you ever feel inspired to write, then by all means write a song. But this is a great way to get yourself to sit down and start.
Sit down and write one bad joke (!!!)
Sit down and write one bad page (of prose or dialogue)
Sit down and draw one bad line
Sit down and take just one mindful breath (for meditation)
The last, most important part is this: give yourself a legitimate eject button. If you tell yourself, "oh, I'm sitting down to write one bad page, but I'm really trying to write sixty pages today," then you're going to put yourself in the same shitty situation of procrastinating that you began with.
Really: agree with yourself to one, poorly executed joke/rhyme/page/drawing, and then honestly check in. How does this feel? Do I want to keep going?
That's all for today! See you again tomorrow!