Re-framing Our Thinking
It took me a while to write this blog post this morning as I kept getting distracted. Instead of starting on the keyboard I was opening Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Not to write anything, just to read, scroll and distract. Then I got annoyed at myself and my inability to concentrate. However maybe what I need to do is actually think differently about those ‘distractions’. If I’m allowing myself to get distracted while at the same time having a question (or in this case a blog post) it gives it time to percolate. It’s a little different from distraction for the sake of distraction! There is in fact in increasing belief that procrastination is in fact good for creativity (read more here).
For ‘busy’ work such as packing orders, accounts and other tasks that don’t require any deep thinking you don’t need to be in the right mood or frame of mind. However if I am planning on writing or designing I will sometimes have to wait days or weeks before I kick into gear. At times it feels like moving through mud mentally; you can feel that there’s an answer somewhere there in the distance but brain just isn’t moving quickly enough. Even a few nights bad sleep or a mild cold can be enough to throw off creative work. You really need to feel like you are fully occupying your own brain.
Procrastination with Designing
It’s one reason why I’ve been really enjoying this last year in work. I’ve got a lot more hours available and I’m doing a much bigger variety of jobs (more orders, more social media, etc) BUT I have in fact slowed down my designing. This has actually allowed me to be a better designer. I’m giving myself the time and space to procrastinate with the other ‘busy’ work. The pressure is taken off, I can explore ideas. But most importantly because I don’t have the same number of deadlines I’ve got the creative freedom to dump ideas that are just ok and wait until I hit on the idea that I’m really excited about. When you are in a rush you have to got with the ‘that’s good enough’ idea. There will be nothing wrong with it but it won’t be special. It won’t be something you jump out of bed to work on because I want to see how it turns out.
Procrastination with Business
While this primarily relates to design work it can also be tied to business ideas. It’s one of the reasons I like working for myself, I can travel down any creative path I’m able to imagine. Business ideas can in fact be as creative as designing a garment. Sometimes ideas spark many years before I get a chance to do anything with them. I’ve often had a good idea but circumstances aren’t yet in place to make work. With those ideas I don’t actively work on them but somehow I’ve got a file in the back of my brain that is collecting information together and fitting it until one day it shouts out that it’s now got a full working plan ready for me to go with.
So does any of this ring true for you? Do you find that procrastination helps with creative ideas?