Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are You Really Procrastinating?

Its time for my monthly article on creativity. You get these if you subscribe to my newsletter but I like to include them here for any new visitors to my blog. I hope you find some insight in my words.  I also just totally revamped my newsletter, if you are not a subscriber maybe now is the time to do so.  Check out the link in the sidebar.

Are you really Procrastinating?

Procrastination is one of those negative words that so many of us relate to. Just what is procrastination? According to wikipedia "procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time."

To put it simply I think its that we put off doing things to a later date.  The problem is we can keep doing this and find we never accomplish anything. Is that what is really going on?  In creativity circles many are exploring the idea of 
percolation. Are you familiar with the word? Most of us can only relate it only to coffee. Visualize this, when you are making coffee you have that slow drip of liquid running through the coffee and filter. You can't rush it, it takes time for the liquid to pass through the grounds and your coffee to be made. Often when we think we are in procrastination we really are percolating just like a coffee pot does. We are thinking of our idea and how it might work, what our options are and so forth. This is where daydreaming can come in. Yes, I am giving you permission to daydream. We need that time to nurture ideas, to see what will come next.

Comic from

How is it helpful to know that you are percolating and not procrastinating. I know I tend to feel better about myself when I am percolating and not so much when I am procrastinating. There is no guilt involved with percolating, no beating yourself up about not getting something done. I think a lot of us put off projects till the last minute because we are still percolating all the ideas we need to complete the project. We often see the deadline as the motivating factor and that does have some merit but for me it that I am just not ready yet. When I finally sit down to do something all my ideas are in place and I can just let it all flow and before I know it the task has been easily completed.

I had that experience several times this past month. My first example was the Vision Board class I taught recently. I had been thinking about it for awhile, then all of a sudden it was time for action. I got all the elements in place in a matter of a few hours. The same thing happened when I had some photos taken for my website. I had planned to do this for a long time. I hadn't talked about it much but it was in the back of my mind. It wasn't that I was putting it off like you do with procrastination but I needed to think of all my options. Within a couple days I had found a photographer, had pictures taken and gotten them back. It was very fast.
The next time you think you are procrastinating about something step back a little and pause. Are you really procrastinating or are you in that percolation stage. Give yourself a little time and then move forward. You will really notice a difference and will accomplish more of your tasks in a more relaxed way.

1 comment:

  1. Kate, I thoroughly enjoyed this newsletter, and it definitely spoke to me. The next time I put something off I'll look at it differently and check to see if I'm really procrastinating or if I'm percolating. The idea of the coffee pot will stay with me now and be a useful tool.


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