5 Strategies to Overcome Procrastination Guilt

Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty for procrastinating? Read on to see my strategies to overcome procrastination guilt and give your creativity a jumpstart.


Excerpted from my purple poppin “Anything Goes” journal on (January 13, 2016)

Big News: Now that I've finished uploading the entries in my blue lagoon "Ecosystem" journal, I'm starting a new "season" for the entries in my purple poppin "Anything Goes" journal!

Hi, My Name is Eric, and I’m a Workaholic

Strategy 1: It’s okay to take a break

I still haven’t found a solution for when I’m feeling creative but don’t know what to create or in which media to create it (writing, drawing, mind maps, etc.) Oh, and there’s music, of course; how could I forget?

I felt this way last night and decided what was blocking my creativity was the fact that I had “work withdrawals.” In other words, while sitting completely still [watching a] “Fireplace in Your Home” [type of video on TV], I felt fidgety and almost guilty for just sitting there and not doing anything “productive.”

I’m a workaholic and so I’m addicted to productivity and having something to show for my work. Just taking some time to be leisurely doesn’t yield tangible results. Even though I know it’s good for my mental—and, therefore, physical—health, somehow that’s not tangible enough for me.

The Resistance is Real

Strategy 2: Recognize resistance

And then there’s the constant resistance. Instead of enjoying writing a good journal entry like I aim right now, I feel guilty for not working on—let’s be honest: avoiding—my newest NaNoWriMo Novel, Kitty Hero Chronicles.

There’s the fear of falling into the same trap of not completing it until years later (which I’m confident won’t happen because I’m so close to the end). And, on top of that, I find myself questioning if I’m truly a writer, seeing as how it’s so hard to bring myself to sit down and do the work that other successful and bestselling authors commit themselves to for hours on end.

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

- Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art

Why is it So Hard?!

Strategy 3: Even professionals experience procrastination guilt

I know that commitment is part of [these authors’] success, and I guess that’s what gets them through similar mood swings and “off” days, but what do you do when you feel like you can’t dig yourself out of the pit that non-productivity, mood swings, and guilt has dug [for you]—and shoved you into?

Why is it so hard to just accept that there will be days like this and realize that it will pass? Why be concerned that I haven’t written in my novel in three days or even a week or two? Why am I in such a hurry to see this project done and take on new ones, all the while knowing that the same feelings of guilt, withdrawal, and (seeming) idleness come with each new project? Why do I “Think it so strange concerning the fiery trial” that’s trying me (1 Peter 4:12)?

Mama said there would be days like this.


Other writers, even the professional ones—especially the professional ones—experience the same feelings each and every time they sit down to work on their latest novel. The same goes for musicians, artists, and creatives of all types.

The question I have is, “What do they do to overcome procrastination guilt?” To me, the answer can’t be a simple as “Just push through it.” I believe there has to be some underlying factor behind their drive to “push through it.”

Strategy 4: Glean from other people’s experience

One suggestion: Rather than read about writing, I should check out blogs by writers who are candid with their experiences and see if I can’t find some solutions. Granted, everyone’s different, but I can still glean what does and doesn’t work for me and piece together some solutions that will work—or at least give me a start in the right direction.

Overcoming Perfectionism

Strategy 5: Freewriting

Another block to my creativity—and this is a BIG one for me—is my perfectionism. If I can’t begin [to write] a good first sentence, then I’m blocked [by default]. I’ve got to remember that there’s such a thing as freewriting! Think about the word “freewriting” for a sec:

  • The power to write freely
  • The freedom to write (apart from expectations of perfection, which is unattainable in the first place.)
  • Freeing yourself through writing

One More Thing…

BONUS! Strategy 6: Be imperfect

I’m sure there are many more, but really, you don’t need much more than that.

I don’t know really how to end this entry. I don’t have an end-all-be-all answer. I just have to wrap this up. But there is one more thing:

Remember, this is an “Anything Goes” journal, so allow yourself to be imperfect. Creativity is messy, so let yourself go the next time feelings of guilt, withdrawal, idleness, or perfection block your creativity [and cause you to procrastinate]. That’s what this journal is for!

Creativity is messy.

- Unknown

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