Procrastination and Creativity


It’s a bright and warm day in June today; June the 19th. Father’s day to be exact. I’ve been busy all day today, like actually busy; I started writing this post in the morning and went to see my dad earlier. But I couldn’t keep this post out of my head. It’s tricky. As writers, we create, and most of us at some point have experienced writer’s block. For creators everywhere the question is simple: does procrastination kill creativity, or is it essential to creativity? We want our work to be perfect and therefore, we don’t put anything down on paper or screen because we don’t think we are good enough. We procrastinate. Your inner critic says “You can’t do this, you’re not good enough”, so you don’t because you believe that negative and nasty voice in your head. Your inner critic isn’t there to help you succeed. There’s always tomorrow… and the day after tomorrow… You do anything else to avoid doing the work you think you aren’t capable of doing. In this case, yes, procrastination kills creativity and prevents you from achieving your goals.

One blogger, Visual Bliss, mentioned the quote “Perfectionism leads to paralysis, which leads to procrastination” by Joe Saltzman, in her post, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m a perfectionist, and if I don’t think that what I am doing or creating, is perfect, then I will stop. I was told today that creativity is an impulsive thought. You have to be in the mood to create. I’ll wait for my creative mood to strike again so I can continue to create. Especially when it come to writing.

I think writer’s block is a manifestation of paralysing perfectionism. You have standards and if you feel like you aren’t writing to those standards then you feel like there’s no point in continuing to write. So you could say that it isn’t procrastination that kills creativity but perfectionism. It’s an indirect effect.

But there are also times when procrastination is essential to creativity. Let me explain…


I’m sure you’ve all left a piece of creative work to the last minute. I know I definitely have. It was caused by procrastination. I spend a lot of my time on the internet, whether it be blogging, on facebook, twitter… you name it. And that means I don’t get work done, even though I’m aware of the looming deadline in the very near future. As the deadline nears, I usually get more and more stressed, but strangely, my progress goes through the roof. Sometimes, after thinking about things for a while, I come up with my most original ideas. If I don’t procrastinate, I burn out and can’t think straight, but when I procrastinate I can organise my ideas in a way they make sense. Procrastination allows your mind to wander, leading to more innovative thinking. But rushing to complete tasks isn’t a good idea…

Da Vinci spent 16 years working on and off on Mona Lisa and her infamous smile. The right kind of procrastination can make you more creative. Da Vinci spent those 16 years experimenting with optics and modelling light to ultimately make him a better painter.

When we procrastinate, we are essentially distracted from our work. But distraction is necessary for thinking outside the box. Your mind is less focused on the task at hand and you are more open to alternative ideas and diverse interpretations thus fostering creativity. We need to give our amazing ideas time.



12 thoughts on “Procrastination and Creativity

  1. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    Thanks for linking over to my post. Here’s to quelling the inner critic and getting on with our writing!!


  2. i take deep breaths and pray a lot this help the tension because the stress can make me not very creative and the ideas go blah …. this great your post is getting lots of activity and will not go stale if you do not mind me saysing so… happy writing / blogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. littleaprilshower

      Yep, stress can confuse your ideas so it’s advisable to leave enough time to form your ideas so that they make sense.


  3. kikkiau

    I’m a big procrastinator also ! I love losing sense of time reading, surfing the net, looking at interior design ideas and thinking new thoughts to their end conclusion. Finding that space in between things is essential to inspiration I find. I balance it all out with having one day a week where I create a massive to do list and get through it no matter whether I feel like it or not. Once I get started, it isn’t too bad and I feel accomplished at the end of the day. Oh and coffee helps with that too.


    1. littleaprilshower

      I love the feeling when you tick things off a list! I have a problem of writing a huge to do list and feeling unaccomplished when I don’t get through all of them 😣

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched a TED Talk on this very subject this week, which gave much the same conclusion. I have a tendancy to panic about procrastination, but this has made me see its worth more clearly. I think it’s about getting the balance right though – if you procrastinate for too long your ideas can go stale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. littleaprilshower

      I always panic when I procrastinate because I feel like I won’t finish my eork before the deadline :L I think if you procrastinate too much like you said, you’ll rush and your work won’t be the best it can be.


  5. i vlike this topic also this quote quote “Perfectionism leads to paralysis, which leads to procrastination” by Joe Saltzman, i think movement of anykind is the key to life and not stagnate 🙂 blessings…. happy writing .


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