Today, for WordPress’ Blogging University: Finding Everyday Inspiration, we are asked to look to social media for inspiration. We were given five tweets to choose from and I chose this one:
What does it tell you that I started this post two days ago? I was tempted to leave it with three dots and say that I was too busy procrastinating to finish the post. It was almost true.
So let’s define procrastination. Our friends at Wikipedia say:
Procrastination (from latin’s “procrastinare”, that translates in to : the prefix pro-, ‘forward’, and suffix -crastinus, ’till next day’ from cras, ‘tomorrow’) is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. Sometimes, procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline. Procrastination can take hold on any aspect of life—putting off cleaning the stove, repairing a leaky roof, seeing a doctor or dentist, submitting a job report or academic assignment or broaching a stressful issue with a partner. Procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt.
It’s such a negative definition, isn’t it? If we refer to the Tweet, I don’t think I see procrastination as being necessary for creativity, but I don’t think it kills it either. It just postpones it. Unless you never stop procrastinating! Sometimes you’re just not in “the zone”.
As an example, I was working on a graphic at work last night, trying to re-create an existing one to update it with some new components. At first I tried to edit the graphic, but the original file was nowhere to be found. I was at work til well after 6 trying to figure it out.
So I left it, came home and this morning when I went back in I decided to start from scratch and I put something together – it was ok, but I didn’t love it.
So I walked away again. I have a million tasks and multiple meetings, so walking away was definitely an option. This afternoon, after some sushi and a walk in the brisk wintery Melbourne air, I started it from scratch again and I feel like I nailed it. I love the graphic that I ended up with. It’s much more comprehensive than the original. It’s neat. It’s bright and well-branded and when I shared it with my team, they were really happy with it and they even said that they understand the topic better now.
Was that procrastination? I don’t really think so. It wasn’t avoidance of the task because I didn’t want to do it. It was avoiding-on-purpose or even avoiding-for-a-purpose. I needed to step away from it. I think sometimes we can get too close to something and then not be able to see the way to move on to the next part.
What do you think?