In my last post I explained why perfectionism is an advanced form of procrastination. But if you’re anything like me, you know this but still find yourself constantly perfecting but not completing.
Here’s five ways of building and maintaining creative momentum by avoiding that niggling urge to perfect.
1/ Treat everything as a draft
Think of everything as a draft, not the finished article. You’ll trick your brain into focussing on the big picture and not the details.
You don’t have to worry about the details now. You just have to finish this draft. Get it done. You can go back and perfect it later.
Because it’s only a draft, it’s not set in stone and you’ll finish it. At worst you’ll have something tangible to work on, but at best you’ll have it in the bag.
2/ Take a break
When you’ve completed your “draft” make sure you take a break. The longer the better.
Sleep on it if you can.
When you’re fresh go back to it and you’ll probably find that its not as awful as you thought.
(And it might even be done.)
3/ Rush it
Pick a creative task that should take an hour.
Set a timer for 30 minutes and attempt to complete it. Hold yourself to account here and just get through it. Even if you think it’s terrible.
Rushing it means you won’t have time to think and you might even release your inner creative genius.
Continue working while reading and replying to some emails, or reading some blog posts, or tidying your workspace. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you only have half a brain on it.
This is the opposite of what I’d usually recommend as you’re intentionally forcing yourself to lose focus. But if you find yourself getting lost in details try it occasionally and in short bursts.
Take what you’re working on and mess with it. Change everything. Be ridiculous. Shock yourself. See how far you can push it away from what you were intending.
Have fun. Be stupid. Go wild.
You never know what inspiration you’ll find at the edges.
Are you a perfectionist? How do you stop yourself? Please share in the comments…