Procrastination Busting Tools

I have an article deadline coming up very soon and while I’ve known about this date for months, my regular work responsibilities have taken precedence over writing this article. And now that the deadline is looming next week, I have to get it done on time and can’t procrastinate any longer. I’m here to share the tools that have helped me meet my word count and deadline.

Screenshot of the Word Counter Max for Google Docs demonstrating the total word count and session word count features.

  1. The Pomodoro Technique: The Pomodoro Technique is a simple idea – work for 25 minutes, then take a five minute break; then, after three “work sprints” of 25 minutes, take a longer, 15 minute break. There are numerous apps and browser extensions to help you accomplish this and some block the most distracting websites. I use the Tomato 2 app for Mac because I like the basic design and it is easy to use.
  2. Word Counter Max for Google Docs: I prefer to write in Google Docs rather than Microsoft Word and while Google Docs does have a Word Count feature built-in, it doesn’t count footnotes. The Word Counter Max for Google Docs extension provides more options, including a session word count target, a total word count target, and allows you to add footnotes to your total word count. It also gives you the option to exclude words from parentheses, brackets, tables, and more. The session word count target is especially helpful to overcome procrastination because it breaks down a big task into more digestable pieces.
  3. Music for Concentration: I can’t listen to music with words while I write and it turns out there are specific playlists just for concentration. I found a Spotify station I love called Concentrational Brain but if you search for “concentration music” on any music service or YouTube, you can discover the right playlist for you.

Associate Director of Research and Instruction, Boley Law Library, Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon.