Battling procrastination

  • Hi there, guys!

    So lately I've kinda hit a wall, burned out a bit and struggled with procrastination...the whole thing took almost two weeks and I gotta admit, that has never been that long before! 😖

    I am all fine now, managed to go through this little downtime but the whole experience made me do you guys handle this kind of things? 🤔
    What are your ways to battle procrastination and how do you keep self-disciplined?

    Please, share! I'd love to know and I am pretty sure someone here may find this useful ☺

  • Oh, wow. I've had burnout and low periods that lasted for MONTHS, so I'm a little envious that two weeks was your max. 🙂 But I know when you're used to a steady groove, even the smallest hiccup can feel really intense. I think over the years I've learned to look at the urge to procrastinate and examine what's making me do it.

    A lot of the time, that sort of unsatisfied frustration means you're growing and developing as an artist--like having a little fallow period where your fresh seeds are growing and bringing you new crops--and honestly, that dormant period can be super important for your artistic muscles to rest and recharge. So first, I'd say don't fear the downtime! When I hit a wall, I usually disengage from whatever is giving me trouble, whether it's a certain piece or drawing altogether, and do something else to stimulate my brain like cooking or crafting or even just rearranging a room. Your brain keeps working on problems even when you're not directly plugged into whatever it is, so sometimes giving yourself that space you might unconsciously work out what's bothering you.

    But also there's totally the kind of procrastination that feels a lot like laziness, and while that might also be frustration, it can also definitely be a discipline problem. For that, I try to get myself into a routine that keeps me engaged and spaces out breaks. Time intervals for working, disabling internet for 30 minutes at a time, rewarding yourself with set amounts of downtime away from work, or even just scaling back distractions in general will work wonders. I also have a lot of lists, because checking things off scratches my particular brain itches. Accountability with creative peers is great--even if it's just posting to your social feed of choice that you're going to do A Thing.

    Also be sure to check in with the stakes of whatever you're not wanting to work on--if it's purely a personal thing that doesn't have a hard deadline, then I'm more inclined to think personal forgiveness and disengagement is the way to go. But if it's a paid project that you have to have done by a certain day in order to pay your bills....routine will get the job done. Burnout on something that you're getting paid for is the worst, but having a system for attacking that is a lifesaver.

  • @thousandwrecks Wow! That is really useful. I know that in 2019 I have felt kind of burned out on art, which had never really happened to me before. For a year now I've had a job as a caricature artist. I would draw happy faces all day and then couldn't wait to go home and draw some more. In these last few months though, drawing has felt like a chore and I grew tired of it. Only recently did I realize that I just needed to do some personal projects that I enjoyed also in order to motivate me to do other art.

  • @thousandwrecks first off, I apologize for the late response. This week has been kinda busy 😄 Thanks for such a detailed answer! I took some notes, compared what ya said to what I am already doing and I am gonna rethink my current routine 😄

    I really like the examine what's making me procrastinate part. Tracking down why exactly am I putting things off seems like a great idea that I haven't given a thought.

    As it comes for @avfarrar's response.
    My problem usually touches the personal art and projects, actually. I am a student atm and I only do some small jobs like logo designs to earn myself some pocket money. Oddly enough, I've never struggled with making a logo or turning in a school project on time. I often feel scared to aproach my personal projects though. I am literally terrfied to draw and that fear has reached its pinacle in that two weeks period 😔

  • Hello! The last Proko's video is about motivation. He asks several artists how they deal with it and the answers are great :
    Maybe it can help?

  • @Julia Ha, watched that thing yestarday morning 😄

  • @IgorWoznicki Oh gosh no worries at all! I'm glad it's helpful. I think it's honestly most important to sort of interrogate our reactions to can really help to iron out wrinkles in your process.

    Good luck! Be kind to yourself and remember you can only do your best. 🙂

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