How to stop procrastinating on a paper

A friend of mine asked me about a big project that he’s got to do at work. He’s having trouble getting started. It’s just a ginormous project, and he’s wondering how to stop procrastinating on a paper. What I said is, go back to planning. Go back to thinking about what are the steps that I would go through if I was going to do this project. Stop worrying about doing it and just think about what you would do.

What you want to go for is that every step of your plan is as small as possible because smaller things are easier to start on. Starting is actually the real problem, not doing. You can do the big project, it’s just actually starting the big project that’s almost the hardest part.

An example that I like to use is taxes. If your project is “do your taxes”, that’s really hard to start. You would break that down until maybe the first step of the project, the first thing you have to do, all we have to do is find the accountants phone number. That’s all you have to do. Now you get to check something off your list and you’re feeling good.

Plan instead of doing and go for micro-steps. When you’re working on a paper and you’re procrastinating it’s hard to stop, but these steps will get you there.


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