Thursday, 11 August 2011

Fight Laziness With Momentum, Create Creativity

Laziness' best friend is the excuse. This excuse can come in many forms, and you'll discover all of a sudden you've become a master at rationalization as soon as it comes time to do something. A common excuse for avoiding creative work is lack of inspiration, and indeed without inspiration it would be difficult if not impossible to create anything of value. But don't let this excuse keep you waiting around, get things moving right now.

The main foundation of procrastination is that the condition isn't right at the moment. Either the circumstances aren't ideal or you're lacking something (such as motivation, creativity, energy) But if you'd only wait some indeterminate amount, things will surely improve and the task will get finished much easier, right? You trick yourself into believing waiting is a better plan than action.

In some cases waiting is the better plan. Time can change your circumstances for the better and in the meantime you can acquire more experience and knowledge to better perform the task or make the decision. If you're putting something off so you have more time to prepare or research, then fair play. In most cases though, that's just the excuse while you go waste time on something else. If you can't give yourself a set amount of time that it will take for things to improve, or a set of conditions that need to be met, then you're most likely just procrastinating indefinitely in the name of laziness. If there are things you need to wait for, or things to be done first, write them down and do everything in your power to push them along. Once there's nothing in your way of completing your task, get your nose to the grindstone.

Now you're probably saying “But I can't force inspiration, it just comes naturally.” This is true, you can't force anything, but there's ways to increase your creativity and get the ball rolling instead of sitting around and waiting for that lightening bolt to strike you in the head. Your goal is to get into that mindset where things just come to you naturally and you can do your best work.

The easiest way to cultivate creativity is by creating. You may think “how am I going to create anything if I lack inspiration?” Many creative things can be done without a lot of tangible inspiration. Something as simple as doodling, putting together an outfit, arranging things in a useful way, finding a creative solution to a simple problem. It doesn't need to be something magnificent. In fact simple acts of creativity that don't require much thought are more useful. Create in a different field from the one you're working in. If you're an artist, write a simple song, if you're a musician, write some poetry, if you're a writer, doodle, etc. The goal is to be absentminded here. You're trying to engage your subconscious so don't put a terrific amount of thought into it. Just go with the flow.

The key component of this approach is momentum, and it doesn't just apply to creativity. You start by doing an easy task that doesn't require much effort, and once that ball is rolling, it's easy to translate that motion into something more ambitious. Usually the hardest part of something is getting started and this can be a large barrier to getting things done. But by starting out with just a sample of the task, like creating something simple, or finding motivation to do something easy, you build inertia that will help you steamroll over the speed-bump that lies at the beginning of every project.

20 comments:

  1. i'm too lazy to finish thi

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  2. Great tips on fostering inspiration. I'm a huge believer in brainstorming.

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  3. Hah Jay I was gonna make that pun in the article but forgot to.

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  4. Cool post man! I saw something similar in a video done by Charlie McDonnell! (youtube charlieissocoollike). Thanks for the tips (:

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  5. Inspiring and awesome as usual. I really need to stop procrastinating (musically, at least)

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  6. This is a valuable blogpost for me.

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  7. :) I have always found it hard to get motivated

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  8. So true, if you get "infected" by laziness, it's hard to get back on track. I usually force myself to do something after a nice cup of coffee. I find it easier to think like that.

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  9. Pretty cool blog nice post as well +followed!

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  10. This post speaks volumes to me. I always find myself making excuses or doing something else instead of just sitting down and creating something. I also find inspiration comes easier when i just open a vst and start noodling rather than thinking 'right i gonna make something now'

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  11. I usually start drinking when i need inspiration.

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  12. Wow, totally agree! Now all I have to do is put this into practice *excuse* *excuse* LOL
    Thanks for posting, man. :D

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  13. laziness is currently my excuse... although without it i wouldnt have found your blog... so hooray for you!

    follow me back

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  14. I get so lazy sometimes that I get disgusted with myself. I'm like a drug addict that has to hit rock bottom before I sober up... except my drug is sitting in my underwear playing video games. That's not sexy like heroin is XD

    Really though, I always tell myself - the "future you" is the same as the present you. So when you say, "I'll do it tomorrow" you have to know that you're probably going to feel just as lazy about "it" tomorrow as you do now. So it's always best to get off your lazy butt and get "it" done in the present. Eventually you'll discipline yourself to not be a lazy at all.

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