Episode #173

There Are No “Bad” Habits

Do you blame “bad” habits for your clogged publication pipeline? Whether you struggle with avoidance, multi-tasking, or poor project management, our Navigate program is designed to help you make lasting changes to your writing process. The first step is to outline your current “bad” habits and what purpose those actions serve.


Today, I discuss “bad” habits. Most productivity advice says procrastination is a writer’s kryptonite. However, I look at procrastination differently. Every person has a different process and different writing needs. The way you work might serve you. And that’s okay! So let’s dive into how to distinguish a bad habit from a good one and make sustainable upgrades to our writing habits. 

What is the Function of Procrastination for You?

Most productivity gurus obsess over procrastination. It is labeled a bad habit that should be avoided at all costs. However, I have a different perspective on procrastination.


If you are prone to procrastination, there is a reason why you choose to do an avoidance task. For some people, it is a necessary part of the writing process. For example, you might decide to clear your emails before writing. Having a blank slate might make you feel more prepared. So before judging your procrastination, it is essential to ask, “What is the function of procrastination for me?”


There is no cookie-cutter writing process. Everyone has different needs. Procrastination might be a good habit. The first step to improving how you write is to learn the purpose of procrastination for you.


Work with Intention and Reflection

How do you determine a bad habit from a necessary task? Start by listing out your “bad” habits. Then ask yourself what the purpose of each of those things is and how they have benefited you in the past. Finally, ask yourself if those actions are currently serving how you work now.


Once you have completed this work, it’s time to move forward with an intention. Start with a small change that you can track over a set period. During this trial period, journal your progress, feelings, and results. This reflection is what will guide you towards a gentle and sustainable upgrade to your “bad” habits.


“So much advice about productivity is about making you feel bad or about telling you that the way that you’re doing it is wrong and that you need to create the right code or set of habits, activities, or ways of doing things.”


Instead of cookie cutter productivity, instead of judgmental productivity advice, instead of self loathing or self critique around your productivity and around your habits, instead what I want you to think about is developing intention and reflection.”


We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and sign up on the waitlist to be notified when applications open here.



  1. Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors with a disruptive perspective on their field to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Check out the program details and get on the waitlist to be notified when the next cohort opens here.
  2. Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
  3. Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.





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