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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Overcoming Procrastination and Getting Stuff Done!

'Desert Homecoming'              8x10            pastel              ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase $100
 I have lists and notes to myself everywhere. There is so much I want to do. So many ideas to try. I usually am pretty good about moving forward and tackling my lists but sometimes everything seems to come to a screeching halt. Nothing gets done.

I read a great article this morning by Jack White on what kills an art career. It got me thinking. He suggests that too often artists don't have success because of procrastination. They may be afraid of failure or what others will think so they don't do anything. They don't even try. (read the whole article here)

This is true for many. I can also be a big procrastinator and it drives me nuts sometimes. But it isn't fear of failure or worrying about pleasing others that causes me to procrastinate.  For me it is a feeling of being overwhelmed that can stop me from moving forward.  Too many projects, ideas and piles of notes can be paralyzing. Instead of tackling things I do nothing. I waste time. I spend too much time on Facebook or reading the news as my pile grows larger.

Today I decided to try a new idea to help me stay focused and get things done.

My big ToDo board
It is a simple white board. A big one. I put it up on a spare easel so it is in clear view. I condensed all my little notes and lists and put down all of the things I needed to do on the board. In the past I have tried keeping lists and using organizer apps but they weren't visible enough. Too easy to ignore!  So far the white board has been a big nag......I can't ignore it. I have accomplished a few of the things I have been putting off and took great pleasure in erasing them from the board!

What do you do to help you overcome procrastination?

Painting notes: today's painting is on my homemade surface (details coming soon) with Terry Ludwog's arid landscape set.


Unknown said...

Oh Karen - you caught me! I was doing exactly that - sitting at my computer reading your blog, with my to-do list on the desk in front of me . . .I also procrastinate in exactly the same way. I am aiming at an exhibition for February, it's just not happening. I lie awake at night wondering why I didn't do a painting that day. I wish I knew the answer! I may try your big white-board idea.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of comforting to know I'm not the only one...I don't know how many weekends especially I frittered away not knowing what big project to start on, so I started none. I probably won't put up a big white board as my studio is already crowded, but it's a good reminder to get off the computer and get going!

Anonymous said...

Ha, me too!! I have had a day procrastinating thinking I should get something done so your post motivated me.
After reading your post I decided to start on David Rankins 5 minute Sketching Faces exercises -davidrankinwatercolors.info - something I have been procrastinating over for a while now, so a big thanks to you.
I get on and read some favourite blogs to get me inspired - yours being one of them. I am only a fairly new subscribee (?a word) but I love your blog and enjoy each post.

Debra Fox said...

Karen, I love that surface. I reminds me of fabric in a way. I can't wait to see how you did it. Thank you again for generously sharing your knowledge and wisdom.

Adriana Guidi said...

Haha That's me every morning..spending WAY too much time here on the internet reading about what everyone else is doing.That board is a great idea..time to get to work..! Haha It is good to know I'm not the only one..lol..
Thanks Karen!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks so much for this reminder. I'm the biggest procrastinator in the world. When a project doesn't work out I sit down and play a computer game instead of dropping it and going on to another project. I've just finished printing out a list of things to work on - in very large type. I have a friend who says "Failure is not important, trying is important." That is at the top of my list. Thanks again.

Betsi Newbury said...

Facebook is my downfall in more ways than one and has led me to horrible procrastination. First it sucks time from my day because I simply *must* check out all of the posts until I reach the last one seen the day before. And, even worse, I see the incredible work completed by artists on groups I belong to and am absolutely intimidated by them. I cannot possibly share my work with those groups because it is so lacking. So, I do nothing. I think I need to drop out of those groups.

I will, however, continue looking forward to your daily blog. It gives me a perspective for the fused glass work (that I am not doing right now) that I didn't expect. Thanks!

robertsloan2art said...

Betsi, Facebook was mine several times in the past. Trick to managing it is to NOT post till you have art to post ON it and get happy comments from friends who like it. That was my way to deal with FB that worked. Otherwise it's a time sink.