6 procrastination traps that keep your masterpiece inside you

You can understand why someone would procrastinate on, say, taking the car in for an oil change. But supposedly you enjoy making your art. So, why is it so hard to get it done?

You procrastinate on starting your art, and you procrastinate on finishing your art. There are different errors that cause each.

Starting Procrastination

Here’s why you might be procrastinating on starting your art:

  • Inflating the Investment: You can’t start working on your project, because you don’t have the time right now to get started. You think you need a free hour, or several hours, or a month to make any progress. You exaggerate how long it will take—and it never seems to fit the time available.
  • The Information Fallacy: You can’t start working on your project, because you still need to do more research. You ignore the fact that by starting, you’ll suddenly have more information than you could ever hope to gain through research.
  • Basking in Reflective Glory: You get satisfaction from the accomplishments or praise of others, despite not having accomplished anything yourself. Maybe you think of yourself as an “artist,” a “writer,” or an “entrepreneur.” Merely wearing that label, and attending parties and awards galas on the scene makes you feel as if you’ve accomplished something yourself. If you started a project of your own, this harsh reality would stare you in the face. So, you don’t start.

Finishing Procrastination

To get your art into the world, you need to actually finish it. Here’s why you might be procrastinating on finishing:

  • Perfectionism: Your work doesn’t live up to the vision in your mind, so you can’t push it out into the world. You ignore the fact that you’ll never know how good (or bad) your work is until you give it a chance to be seen. It feels better to just keep polishing it.
  • Shiny Object Syndrome: You bounce from one unfinished project to another. You convince yourself you weren’t really interested in that last project, but this new one is going to be great. This cycle keeps repeating. Instead of seeking satisfaction from finishing projects, you fall for the short-term pleasure of novelty.
  • Burnout: You set out to make your grand masterpiece. You work with great motivation for a few minutes or hours or days, then you burn out. The vision in your mind was so far beyond your current abilities, you never had a chance. You fell for The Fortress Fallacy.

At the root of each of these procrastination traps is comfort. Each of these, in one way or another, is a blanket that keeps you warm while you binge on Netflix. Just don’t let that blanket turn into a Snuggie® and follow you into the kitchen to make another batch of nachos.

Taking pleasure in the discomfort of hard work is all about mindset. If you learn to love the sensation of cold air on your skin, you can avoid each of these traps, and finally make your masterpiece.

Getting Art Done will boost your creative productivity, and help you finally make your masterpiece. Get updates here »

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.