Don’t wait until the last minute to force creativity and content. Keep the journalistic juices flowing throughout the day. Here are a few “life hacks” for the procrastinating journalist to keep in mind…
BY JANINE GOUS
Have you ever sat down in front of your computer, eager fingers hovering just above the keyboard and you hit a blank? You’re staring at an empty Word document and all you can think about is the next creative snack you can make with your limited food stock…
At this point, the right side of your brain starts up its engine and convinces you that by moving away from what needs to be done right now – like making a delicious snack – will allow time for your creative cogs to begin their ascending conquer.
I wouldn’t say it should be ignored; the right side of the brain does have the finish line in clear sight. But there is a reason why we have conflicting, or rather harmonising, polar opposites of the brain. While the right is using intuition to steer your bodily vessel, the left half sails analytically toward a more sequential order of getting things done.
Here are three life hacks for the procrastinating journalist to keep a balance between both halves of the brain:
Encourage random bursts of creativity, and record them.
Even journalists have lives; in fact, possibly more so than most. They’re constantly filling their minds with new information and current affairs. It only takes one flint of information to light a match that can turn into a blazing forest fire! The trick is to flow steadily with the unfolding story in your mind, while making notes (physical, not mental) to return to later.
Set deadlines for yourself, and honour them.
Well, you’ve all heard this one before. But it’s true, and just like the saying “practice makes perfect”, you’ve just got to keep trying until you get it right. Setting your own deadlines in intervals takes off the pressure of a final deadline. Intervals can be completing your first draft by a certain date, then the next goal can be to polish the next draft. By doing this, you’re also able to review your work over a period of time, so that by the time the final deadline arrives you know its foolproof.
Get out, do things, but never stop working.
The last part may make your eyes widen and make you rethink your daily caffeine intake, but it’s not what you think. This may sound contradictory, but keeping yourself busy from what you’re supposed to be doing sometimes leads you to what you’re destined to be doing. The trick is, when you’re out and about, never stop noticing things around you – cars, animals, people, nature. Your next article topic, and angle, may be right in front of you. Besides, this shouldn’t feel like work to you, it’s your passion – live it!”
Janine Gous found her passion for writing while travelling the world. Itching to find a platform to share her globe-trekking adventures, Janine began documenting her travels on her Instagram account which features posts on global destinations, her favourite meals and topics of interest. Janine is a Junior Travel Consultant by trade. When she isn’t tailor-making unforgettable safaris for clients, you can find her planning her own next trip, hiking one of Cape Town’s beautiful mountains or trying out the latest coffee shop in the mother city!
Photo Credit: Flickr.com_Moya_Brenn