Zelgarnik Effect: Use it to keep writing

The biggest problem I have when trying to get work, specifically writing done, is that I never know where to pick up, where to leave off, and how to stop procrastinating. I always get down on myself for procrastination, and it makes me feel even more burdened to actually do something. Still, nothing gets done. I read this article about the Zelgarnik effect, and feel somehow....liberated! It's okay that I procrastinate after all; procrastination apparently might mean that I will get things done better afterwards. Once I actually start the task, I'm more likely to complete it in one go, because this effect means that if I leave it alone, the thought will stick with me. The effect basically says this: if a task is interrupted or uncompleted, I will remember it better. If it is completed, I will let it go. So, when tasks aren't completed in one go, they nag us and keep us focused on the topic. That's why we like to read sequels and can't resist a well done cliffhanger: the Zelgarnik effect. It's interesting to think like this, and if you realize this about yourself, you can set yourself up to succeed and not be as burdened by your work. I'm going to try this with my writing: set a small goal that I know I can accomplish. For instance, write a scene about my birthday. That's it: that's all for the day. If I complete this task, I can set it aside and move on, satisfied, until I'm ready to return to the work. If I don't it will nag me, and I'll feel burdened by my writing. If I can continue to think of writing in small bursts, I can use this effect to help me succeed as a writer. Let's try it!

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