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Reverse Procrastination: A Friendly Little Demon

My hiatus (from blogging) turned into a dry spell. And what happens when you stop watering the plants?

I have some of my happiest moments when I am thinking and ‘working’ on my Creativity Framework. So why do I limit my happiness so much? Why do I only work on it when the situation is right? The key (or at least one of them) to getting things done in your creative life, is to just do them. Even under the worst possible conditions. You need to finish your work IN SPITE OF the conditions, not BECAUSE OF the conditions. There are too many other things going on in the universe for it to always line up perfectly just for you and your project. Don’t feel bad about this, challenge it.

I tend to experiment. Sometimes (actually most of the time) the experiment overtakes the project. I experiment with ways to battle inertia. I experiment with different digital tools and mediums to make sure I have access to my work during ‘down’ times (like taking the streetcar to and from work). I constantly have ideas for how to start my book (Create More Better Different) over again, how to write it better, how to break it up into smaller pieces. It should be a pamphlet! It should be digital only! It should be done with pictographs! It should only have one idea per page! It should be written only by hand! It should be written only on an iPhone! It should be written only on the streetcar, one idea per day! It should be written only in the morning before work. It should be written only after midnight. I should just stop and re-edit the material I’ve already written. I should make sure there is a blog-style sidebar for each section… The list goes on and on. I’m luck if I only have 3 or 4 of these ideas every day.

This friendly little demon is something I call Reverse Procrastination. It is so frickin’ helpful, isn’t it? It’s always suggesting cool new ways to do thing, cool new ways to start over. It has billions, trillions, of new ideas to throw into the mix. And you have to shut him down to be able to get something done. I try not to listen to him (for me, it’s a boy, for you, it might be a girl). But I’m usually too polite and entertain his excited rantings and ramblings. Perhaps it’s the parent in me, the part that listens patiently before dropping the ‘not now’ hammer. But you have to hold him back, or he will demand all your attention and spin you in circles instead of helping you move forward. The reason I listen to the extra ideas is because I’m a creative packrat. I can’t have too many ideas, and I like to know them all. I like to react to everything, to see all possibilities. But it can’t lead to choice paralysis or else it’s pointless to have choice.

Be wary of adding or changing what you set out to do. There is nothing wrong with change, but try to be self-conscious about whether this change is to improve your work, or to make sure it never gets done.

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One thought on “Reverse Procrastination: A Friendly Little Demon”

  1. Despite constantly traveling I loathe change for work. I have just decided to stop working on my site on weekends, which I know is much needed and will help in the long run but will be so hard.

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