5 Danger Signs That You're Procrastinating More Than You Realise

Author : Adam Shafqat | Published On : 02 Mar 2021

"Procrastination? Yeh I probably procrastinate a bit now and then, doesn't everyone?"

This might well be your response if I asked you if you suffered from procrastination. And yes, we all procrastinate to some extent, even for a few moments here and there. But having such a casual "It's OK because everyone else does it" attitude can be dangerous.

Those seemingly innocent and harmless little habits of procrastination can gradually expand without you realising. Before you know it, for every hour of "creative time", you're spending less than 15 minutes ACTUALLY creating. For the rest of it you're involved in some kind of procrastination.

So here are 5 danger signs that tell you you're procrastinating more than you realise. How many can YOU recognise?

1. You spend more time preparing to create than actually creating. Yes, all creative work needs some kind of gathering of materials or resources before you start. But when you find that every time you go to create, you're rearranging your paintbrushes in size order, and sharpening every pencil whether it needs it or not, it's time to admit you've crossed the line. That's just procrastination, pure and simple.

2. You feel afraid to create spontaneously, at the risk of making of a mess. Some creative projects need a bit of planning. But for most you can simply throw down what you have already within you, it's all there waiting to be released into the world. If you always feel you have to meticulously plan each project and the phrase "spontaneous creating" sends you running for the safety of your duvet, it's a sure sign you're procrastinating, not creating.

3. You can't remember the last time you created for more than 5 minutes without stopping or losing focus. Do you always set out to create with the best of intentions but 5 minutes in find you're making a drink, choosing the "perfect" music to play in the background or cleaning that distracting layer of dust on your bookshelf? Then procrastination has got you well and truly under its spell.

4. You never begin a new creative project without fully "researching" it first. True, for some projects, we can benefit from a little research to get our inspiration flowing. But ultimately, all you ever need to create is within you. And it will always be within you. Spending hours researching is just another way of avoiding sitting down and expressing your creativity in the ways you already know how to do.

5. You just don't ENJOY creating because you're always worried about what else you "should" be doing. When this happens, even though you may on the surface feel like you're creating, there's no way you can be fully engaged in creating the best you're capable of. Distracting yourself with these worries in your mind is just another way of avoiding creating to your full potential. In other words it's just another form of procrastination.

These are 5 of the biggest warning signs that you're in the grip of procrastination habits, even though you think you're creating freely.

Which of these do YOU recognise in your creative life? Which can you admit to and identify today, and take action towards eliminating?