"Press Pause" - Another Look at Procrastination and Creativity
For creatives, “taking a break” can induce panic. I hear it all the time from clients and collaborators, both. “I should be working…” “I had some fun but I didn’t get anything done.” “I feel like I’m wasting my time if I’m not productive.”
Around Odonata Creative, we embrace Jill Badonsky’s idea that “Lull” is a Muse all her own, with powerful lessons to teach us about our creativity and how to best embody it. And the first step is identifying what exactly what kind of “not working” it is we’re dealing with. Let’s start with the biggie:
Procrastination. The very word inspires fear. Procrastination is a big block for a lot of us. We just aren’t getting to…that thing we are supposed to be getting to. Why aren’t we getting to it? (our inner critic amps up right about now) Why are we diddling and fripping away our time? Why are we so undisciplined?
In facing this block, it’s important to know there two different types of procrastination. The first is avoidance. If we’re procrastinating and not getting to the thing we should be getting to because it feels overwhelming, fearsome, or simply boggling…we can chip away at those blocks. If we are not getting to our creative plans and passions at all, there are things we can use to address that issue. Structure, accountability, breaking tasks down…these are some of the ways we can melt our procrastination away.
And, that said, for some of us a little procrastination actually helps us do our best work.
Yup, it’s true. For some creatives, there is nothing like the pressure of a deadline to turn on the creative juices, to amp up the fires of inspiration. And knowing that about yourself is a powerful aid in planning projects.
Don’t feel bad about procrastinating if you are getting to your creative dreams and meeting your creative goals.
I repeat: Don’t feel bad about procrastinating if you are getting to your creative dreams and meeting creative goals.
Ask yourself, what does procrastinating feel like for you? Is it a tool you use, or a block that erodes your best laid plans?