Monday, April 17, 2023

Procrastination: harnessing your subconscious to help with creative tasks

I’m a big procrastinator. I leave everything until the last minute. If I didn’t have deadlines, I would never get anything done!

But I’ve come to realise that this is my way of working and it has good results. Here’s why procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing.

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. Putting things off until tomorrow (or the next day). Avoiding actually getting on with the job at hand.

Whether it’s preparing for a singing workshop, arranging harmonies, writing a blog post, planning a rehearsal, or writing a song, I’m a big procrastinator. I will leave it until the last minute to get the task done.

I used to think that was a bad thing and over the years, I’ve tried to become less of a procrastinator. But lately I’ve realised that it’s how I work.

I usually have several things on the go at once. I’m very good at multi-tasking. It means that vague ideas are constantly bubbling away in my subconscious. Simply having an awareness that a creative task needs completing, sets the subconscious going.

An idea might pop into my head whilst showering, or when I’m out for a walk. I won’t usually be consciously thinking of any particular task, but my creative mind is always available and can latch onto something when I least expect it.

When I (eventually!) sit down to do the task, I find that it tends to flow quite easily because of all the subconscious activity that’s been taking place over the recent days and weeks. It’s as if the work has already been sketched out for me without focusing directly on it.

Creative tasks are best-served when your subconscious is involved. Often trying to tackle things head on can result in blockages.

It works for me! The only downside is that if you leave it too late, it can become a bit stressful when you’re putting the final practical steps in place.

Of course, there are times when procrastination is a real avoidance of something that you don’t want to do. In which case, you’ll need to learn the difference, and try to get rid of those kinds of tasks from your life.

Why do it today when you can put it off until tomorrow?

Chris Rowbury


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