Beat Procrastination: Create to Be More Creative

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. – Henry Ford

Is procrastination sucking the air out of you? If so, you are in company. I won’t say it is good company. From what I have observed, procrastinators are a frustrated and sad lot. Herds of us creatives wrestle with procrastination. Over the years, however, I have observed that the best way to move beyond the nasty P word is to simply get started.

Before this month, it had been a long while since I had actually painted much at all. For the longest time, fear was one of my greatest deterrents from painting, but now my greatest obstacle is just simple inactivity. Periodically, I stop making art, and once I stop creating, my idea well runs dry. I become an absolute Waste Land. When I am in the Wasteland mode, I probably couldn’t even buy someone else’s idea and follow through with developing it into art, but on the other hand, when I actually begin creating, my paint brush cannot work fast enough. The ideas are like Tupperware lids, they rapidly reproduce. When I am actually creating, it is as though the heavens themselves open wide, and painting potentials flood down profusely.

On January 1, 2018, I ended several years of artistic drought, and I began painting again. I had to beat myself with sticks to make myself do it, but I had made a commitment to begin painting again January 1, and I did. Once I started painting again, my efforts were bountifully rewarded. When I am procrastinating from doing my art, however, I procrastinate from just about everything else, too. I hibernate. Clutter builds up around me in my home, and little tasks go undone. A day or two after I had gotten back int my art, I realized that I needed to free up my living and working spaces, too. Clutter strangles me. It is February 1, 2018, and I am launching another initiative: Clean Out My Clutter and Clear Up My Mind.

I have discovered that the best way for me to do loathsome tasks, like cleaning my house and studio, is to make check-lists. I have decided that every morning, I’ll print my to-do list and assign myself a few tasks for the day, and once I have completed my daily tasks, I’ll smile. Although I can jump right back into painting, after a rest, my cleaning is done in small, digestible tasks.

If you are fighting procrastination, too, print my to-do list and launch your own initiative.

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. –Henry Ford – 1863

How do you eat a cow? One bite at a time. – Anonymous

Jacki Kellum Watercolor Painting Sunflower with Blues at Fine Art America


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