Get to Work! Is There a Way to Train Yourself to Stop Procrastinating?

Hey procrastinating filmmaker! How long has that great idea for a film been in your skull floating around not being made into an actual film?

Films require tons of work to get finished—the screenplay, casting, equipment rentals, shooting, editing, etc. But guess what, they also require tons of work to get started, and much of that effort comes from convincing yourself to turn off the TV, get off of YouTube, and buckle down to begin the process. In this video (which is also a Vimeo Staff Pick), Stuart Langfield explores the concept of procrastination by sifting through studies and theories, all in hopes of finding out if there's a way to combat it and be free of it forever.

As you might've guessed, there's no miracle cure or surefire way of overcoming procrastination. (Because that would be too helpful and perfect.) But Langfield does offer a lot of great information that helps explain the possible reasons behind why many of us tend to put off important tasks for later times, like when it comes to the war between the brain's emotional limbic system and the logical prefrontal cortex.

Langfield says that the key to not procrastinating may have something to do with the neuroplasticity of your brain, and by strengthening the response of your prefrontal cortex through "mindfullness meditation" and other activities, you could train your brain to bypass your limbic system's instinctual response in order to get things done that you may not feel like doing.

A lot of people say that the lack of money, time, and resources is the biggest killer of film projects, but I don't think that's true. Most of the time it's procrastination and a lack of motivation. So, if you're still on page one of your screenplay, or if your awesome film idea is still just bouncing around in your imagination, or if you're still just looking at a mountain of footage that needs to be edited, you might want to look into meditation, playing music, scheduling, or getting into a routine—anything that helps you stay on task and stay motivated.

How do you combat procrastination? Let us know in the comments below!     

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1 Comment

I'll read this later...

August 11, 2016 at 4:30AM

Maan Mansour

Only way is get cracking and fixa reward once got a decent goal attained. And set next reward for after next goal. Also, get a few days off when achieved a sizeable chunk...

August 16, 2016 at 7:12AM

David Pennington
Film making teacher