I haven’t written a blog like this in a while. One in which I lay out in a carefully detailed plan how I am so creative and able to construct sentences that produce such strong emotions in people that they can’t but help themselves to a click on their twitter share button. Or maybe just go “meh”!
But recently I have discovered something in how I write that may or not be helpful to you. I discovered that when it comes to many things I can be pretty lazy. I can procrastinate like no other. But I think I have found a way to make my laziness work in my favor.
Let me explain.
If I am lying upstairs on my bed watching the latest episode of Portlandia or Hannibal and I realize I have left my phone downstairs, those stairs become a mammoth trek of survival and self discovery and to be perfectly honest my bed is pretty comfy and cosy so forget that. Or if I have chocolate and I want to eat it but at the same time I don’t want to eat it, I will simply put it into Britt’s drawer on her side of the bed. Again, a matter of feet becomes a hundred mile journey and that will be enough to resist the tempting lure of chocolate.
Yes, I’m that lazy.
Also, American chocolate’s not that great.
So I got to thinking how this could work in my favor when writing. When I sit down to write I come face to face with procrastination or resistance as Stephen Pressfield calls it. The internet is my resistance. I will check my emails accounts, then check a couple of online communities that I am part of, then Facebook and then Twitter. A whole two minutes later and I will repeat the process. Unsurprisingly, not enough has changed in the world in that time to warrant such excessive checking.
Thankfully I have a new system in place. I have two online productivity tools that I will tell you about in a minute which have saved my life.
But first, what is my real problem? Is it laziness or something else? Well actually, I think it is both.
I love to write. I even want to write. I wake up some mornings and have the insatiable desire to write. Then I try and nothing really happens and I click refresh. That’s on a good day. But what this tells me is that there is something worth pursuing here and it’s worth fixing. So I ask myself, what if I didn’t have the internet?
What if I am upstairs and I didn’t have the internet to tempt me from writing? Well as I have established I am pretty lazy so even if I am upstairs without the internet I am unlikely to go looking for something downstairs. My problem is not so much that I don’t want to write but that when faced with the choice of writing or doing anything else, I will choose almost 100% of the time, something else
So I remove the internet.
Now before anyone starts panicking, don’t worry you still have access to FB and Twitter and can still send me countless annoying farmville invites.
But I block the internet for myself. Using these two great tools. Leachblock for firefox and Waste No Time for Safari. They’re both amazing and have literally saved my life and helped with a few writing deadlines. I can block the internet for specific time periods everyday. Sometimes I purposefully leave my phone downstairs do I don’t have the distraction. Sometimes I tell myself that I need the internet for research but usually that’s a sneaky way of saying I need to see what kind of things are topical so I can write about them. But that’s not good for anyone, believe me.
There’s always an excuse.
So with a double tag team of laziness to go somewhere else and the removal of options to distract me, I can get to work. Removing any other options leaves me wanting and able to write and I can feel like I have worked. Which helps me feel good, which motivates me next time I need to write.
Sometimes I need to get out of the house to write but even then I’m too lazy to go home and so end up writing more.
Maybe you’re not as lazy as me and that’s ok. I don’t judge you. Be thankful that you aren’t like me.
For the rest of us though, lazy is OK. It can be your friend and can be used to your advantage. Resistance is sneaky but you can be sneakier.
So get writing, or building, or creating. Whatever it is you do.
Just be lazy.