Success! Redirecting you...
So, picture this, if you will:
You wake up and groan at the realization that another day has arrived, and, as an emerging artist, you have to go to your bill-paying job. There you attempt to focus for the ensuing eight hours, or really seven hours after you factor in the one-hour lunch break. You return home, thinking to yourself, now is MY time. I am going to be so productive this evening. I am a strong, up-and-coming, emerging artist who is going to sit down and solidify myself as a practitioner of the visual arts for the next three hours before I unwind and go to sleep.
Sadly, this is not how the evening goes. You realize you are hungry and make dinner because eating out is so expensive nowadays (not to mention unhealthy) and following that you lie on the sofa watching TikTok until you check your phone to see that it is already 10:15 pm. You sigh, look across your home at your makeshift art studio and realize that it’s just not happening tonight.
If these discount-Joycean lines above seem at all relatable to you, then you may be desirous about how to avoid chronic procrastination and get your paintings, drawings or sculptures done. The number one professional challenge to success that faces our generation (exceptional circumstances notwithstanding) is distractions, and a surefire way to give you the likelihood of that success is to eliminate it as much as humanly possible. Here are my best anti-procrastination tips that I always (mostly) follow.
1) Sit UP: This seems like a strange one, but stay with me on this. When we sit up, instead of lounging and splaying ourselves in banana shapes with our feet on whatever counter or orifice they can find, this subconsciously tells our brain that we are in “work mode”, rather than “chill mode”. By initially putting yourself in a position where your brain knows to settle down and start going into productivity mode, whether it is working on a project in your art studio or sending those emails to potential buyers, you are eliminating half the battle by telling your body that it is time to work.
2) Play some vibey, inspirational NON-LYRICAL music: It isn’t as bad for sculpting and painting as it is for say, writing words or memorizing facts where the words just confuse you the whole time, but studies have shown that music with a BPM (beats per minute) faster than your heartbeat or with lyrics do not help you to work. Play some music that keeps you in the zone and allows you to maintain focus for an extended period. There is nothing that festers procrastination more than complete, utter silence.
3) Plan your day! As an emerging artist, it is crucial that you structure your time efficiently so that you can maximize time spent painting, drawing and sculpting, as well as promoting your brand. If you work, make sure the night before you’ve done everything you need to allow yourself a few hours to get your artwork done. If you don’t, get up, have a coffee or green juice and just sit, think and plan your day based on what you want to get out of the day and what you can reasonably accomplish within the time frame. And when you’ve finished working on it, reward yourself with a nice walk outside, watching the latest, inferior Game of Thrones spinoff and bask in your productive, fulfilled, anti-procrastination glory.
4) PUT AWAY YOUR PHONE! (and laptop, iPad, etc.) I’ll just keep this short, sweet and on message. If you are a digital artist, this may be trickier. Make sure to turn off all non-work related devices and try using a time-monitored website blocking software to remove the temptation for the device you are working with. If you need suggestions, try browsing through this list. I personally like ‘StayFocused,’ but they should all work.
If you are able to follow these steps of putting yourself in the right physical and mental state of mind, having a plan of what needs to be done, and of course, resisting the siren-like entrapment of the electronics, then I have no doubt that you will turn your procrastination anxiety in prolific, fantastic art!