Procrastination adversely affects creativity. We can, however, protect our creative energies from the powerful clutches of procrastination by looking into why we purposefully permit ourselves to procrastinate.
Expressing my creative self is at the very heart of my spiritual journey. In previous blog posts, I examined the creative force that runs through our innermost beings. In this blog post I look at the dark heart of procrastination and the impact it has on creativity.
Why procrastination is dangerous
Any task that we deliberately delay completing, especially if there is a deadline attached to it, extends itself into a stressful situation. And stress is creative suicide. Therein lay the danger of procrastinating.
I recently learnt that procrastination is resistance born out of fear; and that postponing your tasks is deliberately done. The reasons why we procrastinate may only be aware to our subconscious, but finding ways to postpone what we need to do is intentional.
I find myself dawdling deliberately at certain times. My preferred ways of putting off being creative is to hover over my Facebook page instead of the Word document I’ve just opened to write my latest article, text message using my Blackberry, rummaging in the kitchen for something to eat or my personal favourite, burying myself in a page-turner paperback. The last one is really effective as the plot lines are so gripping it is difficult to put down. I have to consciously make the decision not to pick up the book.
- When I feel overwhelmed (lack of time-management or disorganisation)
- I hanker after perfectionism
- Give in to self-limiting beliefs
- Fear of failure
Steps to stifle the strength of procrastinating
Acknowledge your efforts to procrastinate
Once you have identified your practice of procrastination, it makes finding countering measures that much easier. You will also be more willing to make the effort to stop procrastinating.
Identify the ways in which you procrastinate
There are a number of ways in which we delay performing tasks and duties. By making a list of the different ways in which you procrastinate, not only makes you aware of the enormousness of the situation, but you can eliminate this paralyzing problem in its entirety.
Investigate the underlying causes
Procrastination is a debilitating habit. In order to unlearn this practice that destroys confidence, it is crucial to get to the bottom of the roots of your behaviour.
Depending on the different ways in which you find yourself procrastinating, there are strategies to implement that will help you to overcome this problem.
Strategies that have helped me include:
- I write one sentence at a time. Once I have written down the initial sentence, I seem to gather momentum,
- Breaking down tasks into bite-sized chunks makes the task seem much more achievable.
The beauty of being human lies in our ability to learn from our mistakes. After all to err is human. So the good news is that the paralyzing condition of procrastinating can be effectively overpowered once you are conscious that you’re doing it and have asked yourself why.