Procrastination: why it can actually help you be more creative

annalena

In creativity tips Posted

Here are some ways to be more creative and feel inspired, even though you are technically procrastinating! Fun fact: making and eating pasta is something that is technically procrastination, but it helps me do my work when I can’t bring myself to start :).

 

I get it, guys. Deep in your heart, you know you can’t be on peak performance all days of the year. Still some part of you wants to be a creative superhero who is on their A-game all the time. Yet the reality is that you want to clean your house, organize your desk, put on a Netflix show, or play with your dog – and eventually you will get to your creative work. We’ve all been there. But, procrastination is not bad! Not if you do it right. One of my favourite tools to get closer to a creative, happy life that deals with procrastination effectively, is to procrastinate effectively!

 

So.. what is effective procrastination?

Effective procrastination is where you put off a task, and instead do something that helps you get into the mindset to do the work you need to do. Catch what I’m saying? Here is an example: When I can not get myself to work on an illustration project, I like to pop out a big canvas and work on an abstract painting for a bit.

 

This is something I do for fun, and it really loosens me up creatively. I do this for about 15 minutes, and more often than not I can proceed with my illustration projects. The activity of just playfully applying paint on a canvas gets me relaxed, excited, and happy: the exact mindset I need to do my best work.

 

Is there really such a thing as effective procrastination?

I hear ya, the two words together form a paradox. I get it. But if you think of it: would you expect a factory to run 24/7 on one machine without ever having to refresh the oil of the machines or give the bolts a good a-scrubbin’? (This is where I crack like an egg and everyone knows I know nothing about factories.. 😊)

 

Look at it like this. If you don’t ever take some distance from what you are trying to do, you would never be able to get up and running in full happy mode. Procrastinating can be a huge waste of time, but not if you do it right and take care of yourself and your creativity. So I think: yes, there is absolutely such a thing as effective procrastination. The key to it is being honest with yourself about what you’re trying to do, and what works for you.

 

How can I use effective procrastination in my creative work?

It really depends on what kind of mindset you like to be in, in order to be able to do your creative work. For me personally, this is relaxed, but experiencing flow state and ideas move freely. From experimenting with different activities, I have learned that abstract painting gets me in this state of mind. Some other activities that help me, are going outside and free hand sketching people and buildings, or doing yoga stretches.

 

If you are looking to utilize these techniques, I recommend writing down what state of mind you want to be in, and brainstorming activities that get you in this brain mode. Some of the things may surprise you! For me, I somehow get super inspired and creative when I make pasta from scratch. I always want to paint and draw after I’m done eating. Random, right? So when you’re going through life, watch out for those moments and take a note what happened when you got in that mindset. You will thank me later!

 

Pro tip: keep a document on your home screen titled “Effective Procrastination” with a list of things that work! That way, you won’t have an excuse + know immediately what to do. 🙂

 

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the perfect solution the first time around! The key to this is iterating, and getting to know yourself. Feel free to look around on the rest of my blog for more tips, or setting up a call with me for tailored advice. I’m here to help and listen!

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