Updated: Oct 30, 2021
I still remember the day, when I was a Master's student at Kingston University, London and my professor casually said that procrastination is extremely important and how we must give ourselves that space. With that, she went onto share her own experience of how she was able to piece her entire research together when she found an important piece while surfing a flea market!
Over the last few years, I've had the opportunity to live in various different places, and explore the relationship different cultures have with work. During my time in England, I felt most balanced - working on weekends isn't popular and everything closes around 5 pm on Sundays. However, while living in New York City, I got yelled at for falling sick and taking the weekend off - even though I wasn't being paid to work on the particular project! This cultural shift, made me think a lot about my University professor and her lecture. Today, I want to take a moment to share a few points on how procrastination is an important tool for any artist, creator, or entrepreneur.
1. Workaholism is a form of addiction: If you feel like you should be working all the time and the minute you stop a bout of guilt sets in, stop! This is unhealthy, as an artist, there is no stop or start time on work hours. I've found myself tirelessly sitting in my studio burning the midnight oil trying to finish a project. Working all the time cause burn out, relationship problems and an unbalanced lifestyle. Make sure you are indulging in other hobbies and living a full life.
2. Exploration leads to new ideas: On days, when I've let my mind wander and explore new places, hobbies or even a new TV show, it had led me to new thoughts and ideas. Sometimes the jump from being stuck to being amazed at the new idea that popped into my head is so big that it feels like an enormous leap. As an artist, it is important to look around and let new thoughts come to us.
3. Leave room for serendipity: There are days when I let even the tiniest things bother me and keep me up all night, but then there are days when I go about my day focusing on being happy and those are the days when an unexpected surprise may pop up. Serendipitous moments help me gain trust in myself, my art, my hard work and the relationship I have with the Universe. Trust the process, let it go and see the wonders your work creates.
4. Release yourself and your art: I've known many people through the course of my career who hold on to their work tightly and never let anyone see it. I understand this feeling and I hope that there is a day they'll let it out into the world. A strange realization came over me one day and it was - my art is not mine to keep or to judge, it belongs to everybody and I am here to create it and to give birth to new pieces. Remember, ideas can't be copyrighted - so you have to work on them and give them a tangible form. Once you've set your work in stone, let it go and see how it interacts with the world, watch it from afar and let it amaze you.
5. 20 minutes a day is sometimes more productive than a 20 hour day: There have been times when I've sat down for 20 minutes and with full attention and focus slammed a project together and there are days when I've worked on something tirelessly for hours and hours and kind of not got anywhere - a well slept + happy mind will always work faster than a tired and restless one.
6. Give yourself a deadline and schedule in other activities and breaks: I often give myself a deadline and after that deadline, I release the project, this is sometimes the only way for me to finish a piece of music and move on. Giving myself a deadline, often helps me become faster and better at what I do as well. I schedule in other activities like fitness + walks + lunch + travel into my calendar to make sure I am living a balanced life.
7. Listen to your body: Last but not the least, there are days when I don't feel like doing any kind of musical activity. Unless there's a pressing deadline and I do have to put a couple of hours in, I always listen to my body on such rare days and let myself reset and come back to it! Sometimes, if you take a day off, it gives you a huge boost of energy to get you through the next month!!
I hope that with this blog entry, you would take a moment to take a break, take a deep breathe and cherish how far you have come along from the day you started. It is amazing what we can create with our minds so let your heart explore! Happy creating! <3