Why procrastination helps your creative practice

So often, we think procrastination is a trait that we have to get rid of, that it’s a sign of weakness or of lacking…but when it comes to creativity, procrastination is a friend of yours.

I’ve always been one to procrastinate my writing and have never felt bad about it. I used to think it was because I “thrived under pressure” but in grad school I realized that my writing process was smoother when I would procrastinate because I was actually letting the idea have space.

For creativity, to procrastinate = to marinate. Often I come up with an idea, whether a big, clear idea or a whisper of one, and I don’t make moves on it right away. Instead, I let it simmer, and my brain works on it in the unconscious or subconscious parts, and that time marinating is crucial.

So, if you’re noodling on an idea, don’t force yourself to sit down and write it. Instead, let it simmer. Take a walk, do some deep breathing, color, paint, organize your shelves. Whatever feels like you need to do right in that moment. 

Then, sit down a day later and try again. I bet your idea will come a little bit easier this time. 

Want more proof? Check this out:

“[Adam Grant’s] research actually showed procrastination might be conducive to originality. When you put off a task, you buy yourself some time to engage in divergent thinking rather than narrowing in on one particular idea. He said that by leaving work unfinished for a few months, he came up with lots of new ideas for his book.”

What do you think? Does procrastination help you?

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