Dealing With Procrastination as an Artist

Procrastination is something we’ve all done at some point in our lives. For some of us, it is part of our creative process. Taking breaks helps us process and not get too nit-picky about our work. However, sometimes, our fears cause us to put off our tasks and goals. There are so many reasons why we may feel the need to procrastinate.

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Here are a few ways that may help you beat procrastination:

1. Take small steps: Most of the time, when we procrastinate, it means we have set daunting goals for ourselves. One way to remedy this is by dividing your project into realistic “bite-sized” portions. Doing a little bit daily is the key to long-term success as it helps maintain consistency. While some people love leaving things to the last minute, it’s not productive for others.

2. Adopt a healthier lifestyle: Although it can help, adopting a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be exercise and a balanced diet. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Setting boundaries, as an example, is an important skill any artist needs to learn to free up time to work on projects.

3. Find ways to hold yourself accountable: Make a to-do list to help you keep track of your daily goals. You can do this by using apps such as Notion. A notebook or a daily journal will work just as well if you prefer, pen-to-paper. You can also reward yourself daily, weekly, or monthly once you’ve reached your desired goals. Accountability partners are another idea for frequent check-ins.

4. Allow yourself to take breaks: Get an interval timer-you can find many online and in the app store. Set the timer to intervals you think you’ll be able to manage, like twenty minutes on and five minutes off. Sometimes, our brains don’t want to cooperate, and that’s fine. Rest is necessary for our creativity. So if you need to take a break to feel refreshed, then take it.

5. Start before you are ready: Perfectionism can be a pest when you’re an artist. You may want to perfect your skills before you put them out there. It’s true that taking courses and reading books on your craft can help improve your skills. It doesn’t help to learn about that stuff without putting it into practice. Let’s face it, you’re not going to be fully ready or have your skills perfected and be completely satisfied, so why not just go for it?

    We’re all going to experience procrastination at some point. What’s important is that you stop seeing your projects as daunting mountains to climb. You can’t let that stop you from reaching your goals. Use that fear you are feeling to motivate yourself to move forward. If your procrastination is because of burnout or a creative block, check out one of our previous articles about that topic. 

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