Do you put off doing things?
Speaking as someone who could get a PhD in procrastination (if I ever got round to it), the whole issue is really fascinating.
Deadlines are a must for me to get things done, so making a To Do list really helps. But curiously, some things seem to keep falling off the end of the list. Does that happen to you?
It could be something simple that you dislike doing – fixing something or the ironing – and when you get around to it, it doesn’t take long and was easier than you expected.
Or it could be something that feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin. So you don’t or can’t.
Creativity and procrastination
Recently I came across an article or a comment about how taking five minutes a day doing something creative can help to break through that block of getting started and getting things done. I know that creativity has many benefits, but had not come across this specific one before.
The Five Minutes a Day Creativity Challenge
This was a chance to test out the theory. The idea is to do something creative – write, draw, sing, paint, dance, whatever you decide, for five minutes each day for a week.
I started out feeling as if five minutes was for ever, then once I got started, the time flew.
Doing something different each day got me looking around for ideas. Singing, drawing with my left hand, tearing strips of an old catalogue and weaving them together. When you have a time limit, you have to act quickly, be spontaneous and experimental. And the deadline of completing it in time to post on facebook before going to bed helped.
It was a lot of fun! Not just creating things, but seeing what other people were doing and posting.
Most surprising: Some of those obstinate items on my To Do lists mysteriously got done!
The most overwhelming item has been lurking around in my To Do lists for several months, and felt like it was going to be in the Too Hard Basket for ever. It was important, but felt so impossible and confusing that everything else always seemed more urgent.
I can’t explain why it suddenly felt possible to sit at the computer and start tackling this particular task, nor why all sorts of pennies started dropping so that I could understand what to do, and do it.
There was no apparent connection between the creative activities and this computer work. The block seemed to just melt away during this week.
Somehow the mountains of failing will-power, guilt, anxiety and feeling incompetent were all by-passed. Magic!
I’m hooked now… and going to continue with these little bursts of daily creativity.
And it isn’t just me. One friend who completed the whole week experienced similar powerful effects. You can check it out here Key Steps Coaching Facebook page.
Are you inspired to try a new way to get things done?
Just for a week, spend five minutes a day doing something creative.
Enjoy yourself, see what happens, then share below to inspire others.
Looking forward to hearing what you discover!
©Jenny Cooper 2014. All rights reserved.