… the pain caused by procrastination reminds you that your projects are important to you. Procrastination is your friend, tapping you on the shoulder and saying, “Hey, remember that idea you had? Remember how much you cared about it?” And pretty soon that voice is not just gently urging — it’s nagging. Loudly.
— Sam Bennett
We all have dealt with the problem of procrastination. I find that the more creative you are, the more this can be a problem!
I find Sam’s quote to be very inspiring as he views procrastination as a friend — gently urging, nagging loudly!
Since I detest that feeling, I tend to engage in the opposite problem: Rushing into things — working just to get them done — sometimes, cutting too many corners making my work shallow and ineffective.
For the rest, who deal with procrastination differently than me, look at it as Sam suggests: A friend guiding you towards your most creative self!
Stay tuned for more of his tips and exercises in dealing with procrastination…
When you have the instinct to create and you simultaneously have the instinct not to create, your fear says, “Don’t do it!” And so, confused by these two equally strong instincts, you shut down and get stuck playing an online word game for hours on end.
–– Sam Bennett
If you have ever done everything possible to avoid the next project, next task or next creation, you are not alone. We all have moments of uncertainty or just downright fear that throws us into conflict instead of moving us forward with our plans and dreams.
Many of us engage in ‘displacement activity’ to deal with this conflict.
Sam explains ….
Displacement activity is what happens when an animal is in the grip of two conflicting instincts, and so it enacts a third, seemingly inappropriate behavior.
HA! Sounds like the time I spend on Facebook rather than writing this Biz Tip!
So what do you need to do when this happens? Recognizing what you are doing is a good start! From there, Sam suggests setting a timer to allow your activity to have a limited time to rattle around in your mind and daily activity!
Paying attention to your creativity causes increased creativity.
— Sam Bennett
Does this sound familiar?
Where you put your attention is what you will continue to manifest in your life. It is no different for creativity than anything else.
To help with this thought, Sam suggests carrying around a little notebook to record your ideas, so you can focus your attention on those ideas later.
This method helps in two ways: One is to help you keep track of all the great and wonderful ideas that can cross your mind in a single day — often when you are too busy to act on them.
The second part, writing them down, helps you to concentrate on developing your ideas when you have time to let your creative juices to flow.
Try it, and see if it works for you!
Do hard work when hard work is required. But sometimes taking a productive, intentional break from your labors can refresh you and lead you to new, better work. I’m not saying goof off; I’m saying respect the rhythm of your creativity.
— Sam Bennett
We all go through ‘dry’ spells — times when we just can’t continue and need a break from our current task.
I spent many years as a bookkeeper, but I know now, that if I don’t break up my bookkeeping tasks into smaller parcels, I will make more mistakes (how did I manage to do that all day previously??)
Here are a few of the suggests Sam makes when you get stuck and need a break:
- Go for a walk.
- Take a shower.
- Bake cookies. Make soup.
- Pitch pennies. Play marbles.
- Go for a drive.
- Go fishing.
- Practice another discipline.
- Paint by numbers.
- Just get up and turn around. From wherever you are, stand up and face the other direction.
I guarantee (from experience), that you will come back refreshed and ready to tackle you new project!
Perfectionism also keeps you from noticing the great things that you create effortlessly. By keeping your focus on that which is hard, unattainable, or impossible to execute, you fail to give yourself credit for that which is easy and fun.
— Sam Bennett
How many times have you started a project and not finished because you felt it was not good enough or perfect enough?
I call that “Analysis paralysis” and have seen it often in the artists I represent as a sales rep. Most of the time, the ‘error’ was not even visible to me, but these artisans would not let me sell their wonderful new creations anyway.
Despite what most perfections believe, there is NO big man/woman looking over your shoulder pointing out imperfections — seen or unseen! Like Sam says, it is okay to get a C sometimes (which is often an A in someone’s book!).
I want to leave you with one last quote on the subject:
How is your desire to do the perfect thing getting in the way of your doing anything?
Lets hope not!!
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