Change Your Procrastination Habit with Sitzfleisch

Ned, from the Star Chamber blog, sent me an article: Sitzfleisch: The German concept to get more work done.

Sitzfleisch literally means: sit your butt down and get to work. I struggle with procrastination from time-to-time. This happens because I choose hard things to do: write a screenplay, design a board game, code up a revolution. All of these things have one thing in common. To get them done, they require time to sit and work.

I procrastinate by convincing myself that thinking about the work is part of the work. I am actually just putting off the real work. My screenwriting professor, Robert C. S. Downs, used to say to me, “The easy thing to do in the world is to not write.”

Another habit that I formed was putting up an artificial gate before getting to work on a project. I’ll just wait until I feel inspired!

You could wait a lifetime waiting to be inspired.

Hans Scharler

There are many, many, many, many websites, books, articles, and videos on helping defeat procrastination. I will eventually digest all of those resources, I promise. My best advice: sitzfleisch.

Sitzfleisch boils down to sitting in a chair and doing something on daily basis. To change your procrastination habit, you just start small and repeat it every day. You need 15 minutes of uninterrupted time in front of a notebook or computer. Leave your phone somewhere else. Sign out of websites, social media, shopping apps. Close your email and use a different browser than your main browser (I personally use Vivaldi for the time I need a computer for). Eventually, increase this time and you develop new habits. Instead of procrastination, you will be the person who spends an hour per day on something. What happens in that 15 minutes or an hour is really quite amazing. You start to discover, move forward, and manufacture the inspiration. Not every session is going to be great, but this is the only way to find the great stuff and to get where you going.

Maybe we have to update the word sitzfleisch for those who use standing desks…

Start today.

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