I used to be the worst procrastinator, waiting until the last moment to do anything that I didn’t want to do.
It set me up for disaster in school, and it really wasn’t great for my life, either, until my mother drilled it into my head enough times that to be successful in pretty much anything in life you need to plan ahead.
In this case, I’m talking about writing.
I knew that today I wouldn’t have much time to do any writing because I have a family picnic to go to and then plans with a friend after, so I wrote some articles ahead of time and did my work yesterday so I could be free to have a life off my laptop today.
Planning out posts ahead of time has a lot of other benefits, too.
I have a bunch of headlines in my drafts folder just waiting to be filled in with their stories, and having those prompts there for me makes it easier to come write, especially when I don’t feel like it.
If I’m really planning ahead, I will even make a little editorial calendar on Trello and try to plan out posts an entire week ahead.
Because I have goals.
I have goals to write here every day, I have goals to make my living writing, I have goals to become a published author… but none of those things will happen if I keep on procrastinating.
So, I plan my day ahead.
I prioritize my writing over everything else, and you know what? It’s working.
I’m no longer coming bleary eyed and confused to my laptop every morning, I am coming with a plan and a purpose, and that has made all the difference.
It wasn’t easy becoming a planner.
To be honest, it wasn’t easy for me to get to be this way.
Oh, I would buy every expensive paper planner you could imagine. Erin Condren, The Self Journal, a set of monthly bullet journals that went nowhere.
I signed up for every habit tracking and productivity app on my phone trying to set a schedule for myself and keep myself accountable… but nothing worked.
Nothing worked until I wanted more than anything to be someone who could just get down to work every day and not be floundering for hours trying to figure out what to do.
I hated being that person, and I didn’t want to be her anymore.
Now, I use Google products, and life is different.
Now, I schedule my posts in my Google calendar, and get a notification each morning that it’s time to write my story for the day.
Not only have I planned ahead, but I’ve even set up a reminder system that helps me stay accountable to my goals.
I feel really, really accomplished over all this, and my productivity has been through the roof since I made the small change of writing a title for the post I would write a day or two beforehand.
That’s all I need, a headline and a vague idea, and I can run with it.
Planning ahead has changed my writing life.
Do you do anything to plan your writing? I would love to hear your process!