A great person once said, “the process of writing is like taking a shower.” You keep pushing it away until you absolutely have to. Then you try to adjust the hot and cold water until you reach just the right temperature. Next, you slowly dip your toes and think: maybe this isn’t so bad? Now whether you enjoy the process or wish you could just lick yourself like a kitten instead of going through this ritual, you come out feeling clean and rejuvenated. Always.
The person quoted above is a copywriter and bath enthusiast, and hence a credible source for the analogy. As we try to help our creatives put pen to paper, here are a few tips we think you’d find useful on days when you need to get things done - but can’t seem to.
1. Find the real WHY behind your procrastination. Research indicates that sometimes people procrastinate on purpose because they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability. Psychologists call this strategy of creating barriers to one’s own success “self-handicapping.” So next time, let us ask ourselves, are showers really a creation of the devil or are we just not good with the whole cleanse-exfoliate-tone-moisturize thing?
2. Break down your goals into manageable and actionable steps.When we procrastinate, our brain tends to make a mountain out of a molehill. Greater than the Alps and Himalayas combined. So instead of writing a long to-do list, split your tasks into smaller sticky notes. Buy all the stationery you need (and don’t need obviously) to make your projects colorful and interesting. We’re talking neon highlighters and unicorn stickers. Creating a list on your phone can never match the feeling of tearing down a crisp post-it note after completing a task.
3. Stay inspired. When you feel overwhelmed with work, don’t let anxiety lead you into a state of inaction. Instead, turn to a creative non-work activity to ease your mind. Alternate between a music playlist and a podcast. Pursue a passion. Soap carving, dirt biking, bird watching, wherever your heart is! Allow yourself some fun to get your creative juices flowing. If you’re a writer, seek experiences that inspire, evoke, and generate ideas. It’s easier to say something, when you have something to say in the first place.
We hope you found our top 3 tips useful. Some ideas that didn’t make it to this list but were strong contenders nevertheless include: meditating and hoping your boss is a delusion just like everything else in the universe, chanting “this isn’t real” aggressively until it’s over, demanding Happy Hour every hour, and taking baths. Lots of them. What helps your team stay motivated? Share your ideas in the comments.