Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Maybe I’ll Do It Tomorrow...

I’m not a habitual procrastinator, but procrastination is something that I’ve been guilty of from time to time. I recently read this interesting short article on 99U about how some people have found working on something that they have been procrastinating on for five minutes--and no more--helps them to feel more motivated to work on it.

I haven’t tried that method exactly, but I can see how it could work. I draw everyday and sometimes I don’t feel up to doing it. But when I say, “Okay, I’ll just work on it for a little bit,” I end up working on it for a longer time than I thought I would. It seems like the main issue of procrastination is not actually doing the work, but getting started on it. I think if I started on something that I’ve been putting off for awhile, I would find it hard to just stop working on it after the five minutes are up. Once I get going and see that things aren’t as bad I imagined they would be, five minutes would feel way too short.

Another trick that has helped me through my lazy moments is to start working on the most enjoyable part of the project first. I know that sounds weird because it seems like once you start working on the easy parts, you won’t feel like tackling the harder stuff, but I’ve found that when I start doing what I enjoy, I start to take on the more difficult tasks at the same time.

Like, whenever I create a comic page, I start with the faces first. Faces are my favorite things to draw. I always draw the hands and feet (I try to avoid drawing feet) last because they annoy me. When I start with drawing faces, I get into what I’m doing, and the next thing I know I’m working on the hands too. It’s as if I forget what I don’t like doing.

Then sometimes, procrastination isn’t always bad. It could just be a sign that you need a little more time to think--or that something is wrong with what you’re creating. Maybe it simply isn’t as interesting as you thought it was, and when it comes to writing stories, if it’s not interesting to you, most likely it won’t be interesting to anyone who else reads it either.

When faced with the temptation to put things off for another day, what do you do to overcome it?