Ironically this post took me at least triple the time to write than any other posts. Guys, the procrastination struggle is real. Especially real after an extra super duper relaxing long weekend with my cutie pies. The warm weather also makes me want to jump in a pool and forget all the things. But, you know, dishes and laundry ain’t gonna do themselves. Neither is the pile of ideas and work in progress items I have on my desk. Lets not even talk about all the fun things I want to do with my squidlets. I BOUGHT A SMALL POOL THIS WEEKEND AND ALL I WANT IS TO LAY IN IT.
Procrastinating and the Creative Block go hand in hand in my life. If I wasn’t having a Creative Block then why wouldn’t I be able to work? Right?
I understand the procrastinating to clean and do house chores. I truly do because who wants to mop or fold baby clothes (as cute as they are, just no). But, what I often find harder to get through is the Creative Block. You know the term, Writers Block but the Artist Block is also real and friends, it has me wrapped around it’s little finger. In order to help myself out of this rut, I thought I should share with you what seems to work best. Take it from me; I put the PRO in procrastination.
15 Minute Commitment (for you commitment phobes):
So, there is this theory, that if you commit to 15 minutes of work, you will often find that you can work longer and that you are actually enjoying it. If not, (insert cleaning aspect here), at least you got 15 minutes worth of cleaning done. Speaking from experience, you can get a lot done in those 15 minutes. I set a timer on my phone and get started. Start anywhere. The most difficult part is the start and I often find that around 5 minutes in I am totally willing to push through, turn off the timer and work for as long as I can/said squidlets let me.
Peak your Interest with Pinterest:
Pinterest is my online happy place. I don’t have facebook on my phone anymore but I sure as heck have the pinterest app on the homescreen next to contacts and above instagram. Lets be real, taking pictures, instagram and pinterest are the sole purpose of my phone and I am totally ok with it.
If you don’t already have a pinterest board then you need to get your sh** together and make an account like right now, Ill wait.
Pinterest is amazing. It’s jam packed full of all kinds of great stuff like recipes, diy projects, décor inspo, art, fashion, nail art, woodworking, man crafts and wedding stuff (just to name a few). The greatest thing about Pinterest is it’s smart algorithm. Once you pin some amazeball stuff on your boards (I have around 20 boards -no jokes) Pinterest shows you all kinds of stuff you might be interested in. I often spend a good 20 minutes of pinning (when I don’t know what to do with myself) and I end up in a whirlwind of fresh new ideas or at the very least, a bajillion pins that I plan on being inspired by in the future. 9 pinterest times out of 10 I can’t wait to start drawing up some new designs.
If all else fails, you can also find a load of task lists and checklists that might just help you get your butt in gear. There is also a ‘keep secret’ option for your boards, which is really handy. I do a lot of my idea work on Pinterest but most of my work related ideas I keep as private. It makes me feel comfortable and safe from the idea stealers* of the world. It’s also especially nice for planning your fake hypothetical wedding (you know who you are).
Use those Peepers and Read:
Flipping through my backlog of favourite magazines and books usually boils up some creative juices. I find that any magazine can help spark some inspo. I have a free subscription to an interior design magazine – I’m not sure why but I gots it and I likes it. I find so many hidden gems in there that the magazine is just a pile of scrap paper by the time I am done with it. Other great magazines are ones that feature makers (like Molly Makes – From the UK and I am obsessed). Getting inspiration from other makers can really help mould some new ideas and techniques.
Read anything! Having that little mental break is very helpful to relax your mind and move on. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of negativity.
Creating art journals and sketchbooks are my jam. I love being free to just draw what ever my mind thinks up. Doodling can be so relaxing! I always have a sketchbook around. I have one in my day planner, one upstairs and one in the kitchen. I also keep a ‘Smash Book’ on my desk. Smash Books should be essential to any creative. They are basically a place to glue your tangible ideas, findings and inspiration. I sometimes add paint, stencils, stickers, quotes and texture. Their more chaotic and messier the better (I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them. Truth.)
Take a $10 note to the dollar store, venture down their craft aisle and splurge. They have a selection of acrylic craft paint, sticker letters, stencils, glitter, buttons, Paper - you name it! That should be an excellent start to an ideal Smash Book.
You have to figure out what works for you. If you find that you just wasted 2 hours on Pinterest then, friend, it’s time to step away from the computer. Maybe your 20 minute inspiration journey starts at the local library, at Michaels or the art book section at Chapters. Not all of these always work for me, different problems call for different measures.
What are your tried and tested go to anti-procrastination methods? Let me know!
*There is a book called Steal like an Artist By Austin Kleon and it has helped me numerous times. He basically says to ‘steal’ from other artists. Not actually steal but to use other artists as inspiration, but please oh please, don’t plagarise or copy someones intellectual property. That’s is the lamest of all. It’s just not cool. (Even when you are inspired by someone – mention them. They will absolutely appreciate it and will without a doubt be so flattered that their work has touched you in some way #communityovercompetition)