I’ve always been a proud procrastinator – “Ha, ha, yeah, I procrastinate all the time! That extra pressure leads to great work and creativity!”
Actually, no. Not for me. Not for my creativity. In fact I’ve done myself great disservice over the years thinking procrastination was a great way to tap into my creativity. I think sometimes I made good stuff in those frantic last-minute moments, when I was in a state where I didn’t have time to doubt my actions and just let the muse go at it – I’m not discounting those moments in any way – but the words of Andrew Zolli led me on a new train of thought. He said, “Failure is intrinsic, healthy, normal, and necessary to most complex systems.” I started thinking about my relationship with failure (we’re not friends, in fact I avoid him whenever possible), how failures allow us to grow, how “failing” can lead to following a new path, pursuing a new idea, taking a new direction…
By procrastinating I don’t leave myself time to “fail.” I don’t give myself those moments to take a new path, try a new direction, scrap the original idea and take off somewhere else. By procrastinating I box myself into a narrow space, a do-or-die space that more often leads to stress and angst and worry than it does to exploration and joy.
I want the joy, not the stress, in creativity, creating, making, playing…
I need and want the time to try new things, introduce new ideas, open my eyes and brain and heart to the possibilities of whatever project I’m working on rather than following the path I’ve set because I’m out of time to do anything else arrrgh…
Joy in creativity, not stress.
There’s nothing wrong with a deadline – I know I work better in the long run with a specific goal like that – but procrastinating can’t be part of that deadline for me any longer. It just can’t.
I’ll be making friends with failure, too. Besties. = )