Most of my clients pay me to help them develop strategies and keep them accountable. Generally, I help people STOP procrastinating and get past blocks. But recently I realized that sometimes procrastination…isn’t.
Here is one example: My small business clients frequently hire me to do some kind of business writing for them, in addition to my consulting services. Over the past month I took an objective look at my creative process and realized that I produce much better content in a much shorter time if I factor in time to putter around or ruminate.
It has gotten to the point where I will actually add this processing time into a project timeline.
So while I am walking or doing yoga or cooking or generally looking like I am procrastinating, actually a lot of progress is being made behind the scenes! When I finally sit down to write, the words literally pour out of me and good content is created very quickly.
I then walk away and do something else and come back to edit the copy later.
Usually clients accept the first or second draft of my copy. My writing quality and client satisfaction have skyrocketed. All because I have learned to respect my creative process.
I have a client who goes through a similar process and needs time to “do nothing” – but adds in waiting until the project is due so he feels like he is in a pressure cooker. He was a former reporter so that kind of time-crunched deadline feels right to him, and his work is excellent. However, this is a combination of both good and bad procrastination in my opinion. We are working together to get him out of the habit of waiting until the last minute. It’s not great for his stress level.
If you are a genuinely procrastinating and need to get more done, I highly recommend that you take a look at this presentation Productivity: The Secret Sauce. I speak on this topic frequently and always get great reviews. Hopefully there is something in it that can help you.
I urge you to take a long, objective look at your creative process so you can make it easier for yourself to produce your best work. Just adding in that one step has had amazing results for me.
So what do you think? Do you have a creative process? Do you need time to ruminate or do you “just do it”? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
Catherine Morgan is the editor of Business Unplugged ™, an engaging speaker, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant and former employee of three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine combines strategy development with accountability coaching. Her productivity tips and career transition advice have been featured on WGN AM 720 and WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, and on WCHE AM 1520 in the Philadelphia area. Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to productivity, career transition, small business, and entrepreneurship. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.
Fun fact: If I am cooking an elaborate lunch someone will walk in the kitchen and say, "Smells great! What are you avoiding doing?" Sometimes it IS avoidance, and sometimes it is part of my process. The trick is to know the difference.