Why Fix Procrastination? It May Enhance Your Creativity

Do you wish you could fix procrastination for good? Me too—and an app may help.

But before we get to discussing apps, consider this. Maybe you’re too hard on yourself. For creative workers, procrastination—and even laziness—may have hidden benefits. Perhaps you should allow yourself to procrastinate sometimes; it may well enhance your creativity.

Should you try to fix procrastination for good?

Procrastination may be a good thing.

From Why procrastination can help fuel creativity:

Agatha Christie reported that ideas for her crime stories often came while washing up or having a bath. “I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention,” she wrote in her autobiography. “Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness.”

I think Agatha Christie is right. I’ve noticed that a few days of laziness often result in a burst of creativity.

Moreover, you may be more productive than you think you are. If you have unrealistic expectations, you quickly forget the tasks you’ve completed.

When are you procrastinating?

Procrastination may occur if you’re:

  • Overwhelmed. To avoid this, commit to no more than three high-priority tasks each day. Get those done, then worry about the rest.
  • Attempting to “do” a project, rather than task. Chunk each project into tasks—each task should take less than an hour. An example: rather than creating a high-priority project such as “write a novel” as a task, chunk it down into many tasks, such as: draft a scene, outline a chapter, develop Character X’s primary attributes, etc.
  • Avoiding something. Figure out what you’re avoiding. Once you know what it is, your next actions become clearer. You can do what you’re avoiding, or delegate it, or ignore it. (You’ll know if you’re avoiding something when the same task shows up in your calendar day after day.)

Whatever your situation, productivity apps can help, especially those which resemble bullet journals in style, and focus on your daily tasks and schedules. These apps help you to track what you did. If you managed to write 1500 words yesterday, even though you also vegetated in front of the TV, procrastination isn’t an issue.

Recently, I’ve found two apps which help me to plan my day, and log what I did.

NotePlan (Mac/ iOS): your digital bullet journal

NotePlan combines your notes, tasks and calendar in one space. The app creates a new daily note for you each day. It not only uses Markdown, it also implements it elegantly.

If you’re a Mac person, and despair over your procrastination, you may enjoy NotePlan. I discovered NotePlan last year, then stopped using it because I didn’t use it every day.

However, I soon found that I missed the psychological lift NotePlan gave me, and started using it again. Now I use it daily, as a digital bullet journal; here’s a YouTube video on how a NotePlan digital bullet journal works.

Tip: create a “daily note” template, and add your top projects and daily tasks to the template. That saves lots of retyping.

Mem (web app and desktop) clears your mind

The Mem app is free to use, because it’s in beta. Like NotePlan, it implements Markdown. Basically, the app’s an endless notepad/ jotter. Watch these YouTube videos to get a sense of the app.

Using the app is the utmost in simplicity. Just start typing. Each “mem” has the date, and the time.The app doesn’t have folders. Instead, you organize your topics via tags, and by linking items.

If you want to fix procrastination, consider why you’re procrastinating

You may be shocked to realize that you don’t need to fix procrastination, because it’s making you more creative.

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