Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Tackling Projects with Procrastination in the Mix

What I can do later, I will …

Who doesn’t struggle with procrastination in some way? I am usually productive, but I get in moods of low energy where the tendency to postpone, put off or ignore tasks is huge. There are times when it’s easier to tell myself, “I will do it tomorrow” or “Starting now doesn’t make sense. I need a big block of time for this.” Or I’ll do a different task, such as clean out this closet or have a cup of coffee instead of sitting down to work at my laptop or picking up a paintbrush to start a new painting. I think to myself, I will look at my phone for a few minutes. Argh! Rabbit hole…

There are so many gurus’ tricks, videos and books published that seek to address humanity’s need to procrastinate. I don’t know if any method truly fixes the inclination to push back the timeline. In my opinion, the person needs to want to move ahead. But first, let’s look in the fridge.

Generally, I don’t “feel” like writing a blog post or putting items in my online shop. I feel like watching a video of someone exploding watermelon under a hydraulic press. I am not alone; most people don’t “feel” like doing whatever needs doing and will come up with a zillion distractions and make excuses to postpone, delay or duck dreaded tasks.

On top of this, add working for yourself. I am my own boss! Huzzah! But sometimes that means I can manipulate the boss. She believes me when I say looking up the Air Quality Data for the last ten years is important research. Further, I need to take care of her, don’t I? She’s working hard. She needs a nap, right?

Or I try to trick myself into producing, I make a deadline and don’t meet it. I drift off into a “research” time of scrolling and reading articles on the Internet. I make a To-do list on paper that ages under a pile of other papers, or a handy electronic list where I can move the deadlines instantly and easily (and infinitely.) Time for a snack, a walk or feeding the cats. It’s endless.

I am being honest. It’s tough. But the tortoise did get across the finish first, no?

Like the tortoise, I do work on dreaded projects a little bit at a time, slowly, with lots of procrastination and hurdles included. But despite the slowness and doodling about, I am here to announce that  two projects recently reached the finish line. Yay!

Green Cottage Studios has a new website design. It’s where you are reading this blog. If you came in to the side directly to this post, take a look around. There are many more photos of recent work and a more visual look. The old site design was eight years old, so yes, it was time.

The other project was adding more recent works to my online shop. Visit it here. Despite my plodding ways, there are fresh paintings on the shop site. Yay!

So three cheers for the tortoise and good vibes to all my fellow procrastinators out there. I promise to keep up with the new site and shop. As with all things online, it will continue to evolve. But first, let’s clean out the garage, eh?

BONUS: The Creative Life: Unleashing the Power of Sensory Exploration!

The sound of a summer rain shower popping your umbrella. The bitter taste and slightly floral smell of hot green and lemon grass tea. And the visual delight of the orange sun filling the sky with pink before sinking below the trees.

Our vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch give us sensory experiences all the time but are we paying attention?

I am listening to a fascinating audio book by best-selling author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin, titled, “Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and into the World.” It’s thought provoking when you consider how much of life just speeds by us and we don’t take it in. She also includes the research on the senses, so you understand more about your phsyiology. Of course she points out that people are individuals, so some people are “super tasters” while others simply “tasters” and so on.

In the section on vision, Rubin talks about color and how we can “tune in” to a specific color by making a game to hunt for it. She starts collecting objects in “scarlet” and displaying in her home, and the challenge opens up a whole new way of seeing for her.

I am usually tuned into noticing the visual aspect of the environment around me. But her thoughts and exercises got me trying to notice even more about the world. Going outdoors even in my own garden, I noticed the ant hills on the patio or the shape and color of leaves in the planting beds. Walking in the mall, I stop to admire patterns in a tablescape, or the color combinations in the fashion displays. If you wake up and notice, there are tons of visual delights to see and savor!

Her audio book comes with a list of activities to try and I plan to try some of them this summer. Yet, the best advice is this from her bullet list, “Let your mind off the leash. Give yourself the opportunity to wander around without trying to direct your thoughts.”

Isn’t that what the creative life is all about?

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome new website Colleen!! Congrats for getting it done – I totally relate to your discussion of procrastination – yes, I think we all excel at it!

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