Douglas AdamsDo you ever struggle with self-motivation? Pulling yourself up and getting the job done is a key component to launching a business or any creative project… but it’s not always easy.

If this sounds familiar, then don’t worry because you’re in good company. Even the greatest creative minds, those geniuses at the top of their fields, can find it hard or nigh-on-impossible to finish their projects. Sometimes it’s difficult to unblock ourselves and focus on what really matters when it counts. However, when there’s a will there’s a way.

Douglas Adams is known as one of the greatest Science Fiction writers of all time; he was also an incredibly talented scriptwriter, essayist and humourist. His series of books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is world renowned. It has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, has been translated into more than 30 different languages and has been adapted into stage shows, comic books, TV series, computer games and a blockbuster feature film.

Douglas Adams was, to all intents and purposes, a pretty successful writer.

However, if you thought that Adams had an easy time churning out his myriad of novels, short stories, anthologies and essays, you’d be wrong. Seriously wrong. The incredibly talented writer was a procrastinator of the highest order and utterly struggled to meet deadlines. He was famously quoted as saying:

‘I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.’

He also apparently wanted his gravestone to read, ‘He finally met his deadline.’

Douglas Adams did, of course, finish his projects… in the end.

Hitchhiker's GuideBut Adams was so terrible at facing the dreaded deadline that he often had to be forced into writing by others. When struggling to finish So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Adams’ editor locked him in a hotel suite for three weeks to ensure that the writer had nowhere to hide, and no chance to ignore his work. During the three weeks he had food and drink sent directly to him and, eventually, managed to finish the book.

Because Adams never got over his procrastinating habits, the self-imposed incarceration became a common facet to his writing process. And while it may seem a little extreme to some, you can’t argue with the results. The writer found an effective, if not slightly unconventional, method of tackling a problem head on so that he could break free and achieve his targets.

So just because you’re a procrastinator, doesn’t mean you can’t achieve remarkable things. What would you like to do? And what have you found that works to get over your procrastination? I’d love to know in a comment – if you can get around to it. 🙂


In my new book Screw Work Break Free I reveal the The Instant Procrastination Fix and how to make progress even when you have almost no time, energy or motivation. Click here to download a chapter for free.