Friday, May 25, 2012

Practice Productive Procrastination

I'm still busy toiling away on Project P, and while I plan to give you an update on my progress this three-day weekend (don't hold your breath, though), for now I offer you another piece from Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon (you can find him and his awesome book here). This book has been nothing but an inspiration and comfort to me, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Today's excerpt falls under Rule 5: Side Projects and Hobbies are Important:

Practice Productive Procrastination.

Take time to be bored. One time I heard a coworker say, "When I get busy, I get stupid." Ain't that the truth. Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing. I get some of my best ideas when I'm bored, which is why I never take my shirts to the cleaners. I love ironing my shirts - it's so boring, I almost always get good ideas. If you're out of ideas, wash the dishes. Take a really long walk. Stare at a spot on the wall for as long as you can. As the artist Maira Kalman says, "Avoiding work is the way to focus my mind."

Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander. You never know where it's going to lead you.

My "boring creative time" is in the shower, the ride to/from work (I don't do the driving), and the hour it takes for me to fall asleep. What's yours?


  1. Mine is during long lectures in classes or at an event --which is probably a bad thing-- when I'm up late, and long car rides. (:

  2. My best bored times/novel inspiration times are doing the dishes and on the elliptical machine. Coincidentally (I never thought about this), these are also the two times during my day when it is most awkward to write down my ideas! (shower would be worse - unless you had a waterproof dive slate)

    1. Yeah, by the time I get out of the shower most of the ideas are pretty fuzzy or have washed down the drain. T.T The REALLY good ones I have to repeat in my head over and over until I get out. I'd kill for a dive slate!