I'm a massive procrastinator. It's the only way I know how to operate effectively. Although at times I do feel like Michael Scott, but talking to myself like...
I need that looming deadline. I need the feeling of not being able to concentrate on anything else. That's the key here: having to solely focus on the one thing in front of you. Nothing else. And with procrastination comes focus.
I was happy to find out that this is common amongst creatives. I watched a video from The Hollywood Reporter with a bunch of composers talking about a myriad of topics. It's very interesting in totality, but for my purposes now, here is what I immediately clung to...
Now, maybe you're thinking, "ok great, a bunch of creatives agree on procrastination, but where are the facts?" Well, I got that for you too...
According to Psychology Today, "Active procrastination makes you get more things done." This means that while that big looming thing you're procrastinating on isn't getting done, you're still getting other things out of the way. For example, any time I need to write something, I will find every other thing to work on first. Here is a list of things I have done while procrastinating on writing:
- Washed dishes
- Donated clothes
- Marie Kondo'd my whole place
- Plant flowers
- Clean up my friends list on Facebook
- FaceTimed with a friend I haven't talked to in awhile
- Went for a run
- Made a 3 course meal
Did any of that NEED to be done at the time I did it? Nope. But I will find just about anything to get me out of writing, until I absolutely need to write because the deadline is fast approaching.
There's a lot out there (also in the Psychology Today article) that says if you procrastinate that means that maybe you don't love what you're doing. And while I can agree with that for some people and situations, I can't agree with that completely. Do I think that Trent Reznor doesn't love making music? Absolutely not. Do I hate writing scripts? Also absolutely not. And while I'm really not saying that me and Trent Reznor think alike, we do both need the deadline approaching to make our procrastination work for us.
There's a ton of research on this, and I would encourage you all to check it out some more. It was very interesting. And why did I write about procrastination today, you might be wondering? Oh, because I need to finish planning my shots for a short we're filming in a few hours.