Procrastination and Creativity

Don’t Let It Ruin The Creative Process

Too often you may find that you’re indulging in procrastination and creativity suffers greatly because of it. Sometimes you may not even be aware that you are blocking the creative process by putting off doing what you want to do the most – be creative!

You may even settle down each day and try to get something done, but you find yourself doing things you feel “just need to be done, first” before you can get started. Or perhaps you just avoid having the time to be able to get to the creative process at all.

You can’t move forward and you’re at a loss as to what the real problem is.

Procrastination is sneaky. It disguises itself as a lot of different things, some that seem very important, some that seem unavoidable.

  • You’re too busy to find the time to be creative.
  • The process of applying creativity to your projects is long, drawn out, careful planning – so long in fact that you never get to the actual process of being creative.
  • You can’t seem to get into the creative mind set.
  • No ideas you have are good enough.

The list can continue until infinity.

You probably tell yourself that they are all very legitimate reasons for not working, and they sound very legitimate too.

The problem is, they’re not. They’ve only been very cleverly disguised as important details. The truth is you’re procrastinating. You’re the one disguising the real reasons for not being productive. You’re making excuses and you don’t even know why. Worse, you don’t know how to stop.

There can be any number of reasons why you procrastinate when it comes to doing something you want to do so badly. You may not have any good creative ideas, it does happen. Most likely though, there’s same other underlying reason for you not being able to get yourself in gear.

You may be setting up your own creative road block.

You procrastinate and set up obstacles for yourself because

  • You don’t know the right place to start
  • You have no clear idea of where you are going
  • You’re afraid to make a wrong move
  • You’re concerned what you create won’t be good enough.
  • You’re afraid of failing
  • And perhaps, unbelievable as it sounds, fearful of succeeding.

A lot of things we do that are so very close to us, are emotionally connected. While that can be a good thing, especially when being creative as it can make your creations strike a cord with your fans, it can also be so emotionally charged that you can’t separate yourself from your work.

Creativity is funny that way, it’s highly personal but we crave exposing it and getting approval from others. That can leave you feeling very vulnerable.

And so you procrastinate. Which only ends up making the situation worse.

There isn’t always a clear solution to stop procrastinating.

You have to dig deep and find out what is holding you back and then take the hard line and push yourself to get past whatever obstacles you’ve set up for yourself. In other words take action. Do something, regardless of how good, or bad, it may turn out to be.

It can be hard. Procrastination can last for months and the longer you let it go on, the harder it is to get back into some sort of creative schedule. You can’t create anything with those types of feelings smothering you. Nothing drains you faster than berating yourself for not doing what you love and finding out that you just can’t push past whatever is in your way.

That’s real creative procrastination – you’re not lazy, you do lots of stuff. You just can’t do what you want to do most – which is to create.

A place to start is to write down why you didn’t create something today. Be brutally honest with yourself. Did you really not have at least one hour you could set aside? Ask yourself again. At first you may only come up with ‘I didn’t feel like creating anything’. Expand that with why? Really dig for that reason. You don’t have to come up with a solution, you may not have one. Eventually you should be able to get to the underlying reason though.

Next, set up well planned out goals. Do some for your ultimate goal – yearly goal, monthly, weekly and daily. Go into lots of detail when you set up goals. Don’t just say I want to be famous, or I want to make $100,000 a year. Set them out specifically and break them down into steps or chunks that can be completed in shorter amounts of time – daily – weekly etc.

Know where you want to go and how you will get there.

Map out your strategies and add in a time line.

This will give you a place to start and a roadmap to follow. It can go a long way to dissolving your habit of stalling.

Also understand that not everything goes exactly as planned and when that happens you reevaluate your plans and make the correct changes. It’s not devastating, it’s just a small portion of your plan that has been waylaid. You haven’t failed at your big goal until you give up!

Know where you want to go, have steps outlined for getting there. Always include some easy to reach goals. Finishing a smaller goal will keep your enthusiasm at a high level and spur you on to your greater goals. And then just start.

A lot of times you can get past these bouts by sheer force of will. Other times you may need to try another strategy. You can find some extra help with procrastination and creativity with this program 100 Day Challenge