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Is "writers block" the ultimate procrastination tool?

What if I were to tell you, you do not have writers block, you have an ideas block - would that make it easier for you to get out of the funk you are in?

"I can't think of anything to say"

"I don't know what to write about"

You look at the computer screen's blinking cursor and your mind freezes over. The icy grip travels down your arms into your fingers gluing them to the keyboard. 

"Do you want a cup of coffee?" 

"Coffee, yes that will do it." 

"What are you working on today" 

You describe your latest ideas in fine detail for your listener. 

"Sounds fantastic, I'd better not keep you then" 

And like an pin hole in a balloon, your big ideas start to deflate. By the time you sit back down at your desk, the idea and the enthusiasm has disappeared.

The words "writers block" seep into your mind, and a feeling of dread washes over you.

But do you have writers block? If I were to ask you to write me a shopping list of everything that you needed to buy on the weekend you would be able to do it wouldn't you?

What about a letter to your mum or a friend in Baltimore? Again you would have no problems doing that.

So it's not writers block, after all you can still write....something.

But a letter to your mum doesn't help you to write a report or an assignment though does it? Actually it can help. Simply putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and write/type can unfreeze your brain quite effectively.

But should you be writing personal notes in work's time? Well yes and no.

If you want a quick way to get out of the mental rut you are in, then yes - it is a valid technique to use, or you can waste the next two hours thinking about what you can't write down.

But you can also use the project/report/assignment that was the problem in the first place.

So a few suggestions, but remember, what works for you may not work for someone else. And what works today may not work for you tomorrow, so mix and match until you find a group of suggestions that work for you on a regular "more often than not" basis and you will be well on the way to knocking this particular procrastination habit on the head.

Note: You do not need to do anymore research. Most of the time, research is just another excuse to not write the report. In most cases you already know what you want to say, you just can't put the words onto the page.

  • Start where you are. Describe your settings, what can you see, what can you hear, your emotions, why you don't want to complete the assignment. Once you have downloaded that batch of information, then switch straight back to the document you were working on and you will find it easier to slot straight back into the writing mode.
  • Write down 10 things that you want to say in the article/report. Then turn those ten things into 10 questions. Once you have your questions, then think of three words that best describe the answer for each of them. Once you have those three words, you can then start. Use one of the three words and start the paragraph with that word, the other two words should appear in the same first paragraph. The answer to the question should take about 5 minutes to write, and fill about half a page. Then move on to the next question.

Would you like a for example?

Say I need to write an article on time management, one of the things I may want to talk about is meetings.

How can I keep meetings on schedule?
. Agenda's
. Time
. Chair

Agenda's are the key to keeping a meeting on time. However, it is the role of the Chair person to ensure that the attendees, keep to the agenda......