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Change It Up Every Now and Then

by The Procrastinating Writer on March 9, 2009


One of my goals for the new year (and for the last, oh, 5 years or so) is to exercise regularly. This year (not unlike so many other years) I am determined to stick with it and actually develop a habit of exercising. It’s been about four weeks now since I started exercising again…and I’m already getting to the point where I want to quit.

But like I just said above, this year I am determined to stick with it. So instead of quitting, I took a look at what was making me feel like I wanted to quit. Turns out, I’m bored.

Now that I’ve pin-pointed my issue (boredom with exercise–my routine has always been to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then do some kind of strength-training exercises; also, I’m really not a runner), I can begin to do something about it. This past week, I introduced two new forms of exercise into my life–Frisbee golf and rollerblading.

Both activities I find extremely fun, so it’s not like I’m working out, which is a plus. But the most important thing that I learned is this: the key to sticking with something–whether that be exercise or writing daily or completing that novel you’ve been working on–is changing it up every now and then.

Instead of working on that short story everyday, start something new; pick up another piece of writing and work on that for a little while.

You might think it’s better to work on something consistently (and that may be the case for you), but you’ll tend to find that if you change things up every now and then, you’ll feel more refreshed with your writing, you’ll come up with new ideas for one project while working on another and you’ll see that your confidence in your writing quality has improved.

This comes from mixing it up. It helps give you a fresh perspective. And it gives your brain a rest. If you continually focus on the same project all the time, you’ll eventually get burned out.

They say “Variety is the spice of life” for a reason.

So Procrastinators…what are you currently working on? Do you think it’s more helpful to change it up? Or to focus on one project at a time?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Andy Bee July 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

I’d find it difficult to leave a project completely – we have, after all, always been told to stick at something and finish it before starting something new. Otherwise, we’ll have a string of unfinished projects behind us.

However, I do find it useful to let my mind wander onto my other ‘back-burner’ projects and expand their ideas for a day, a week or longer before returning to my No. 1 project. I assume eveyone has a number of ideas on their back burner. Don’t just leave them there…give them a stir now and again, but don’t neglect the main dish.

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