A few months ago, I was linked to a video about original thinkers by organisational psychologist, Adam Grant. and the habits of people he calls originals. It’s a very interesting video and I highly recommend watching it, but one of the points that he makes is about embracing the nature of procrastination.
This came to mind last weekend, when at a party, we were discussing books and creative projects and how the ideas came about. A Clockwork Orange came up and I mentioned that the author actually disliked his novel and that it was written in a rush purely so that he had money to support himself throughout the next few weeks. He said,
”We all suffer from the popular desire to make the known notorious. The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence. The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me until I die.” source
When we reflected on our best work, we realised that a lot of us produced a great piece of work at one stage or another whilst under the pump and that was when Adam Grant’s talk came to mind.
He talks about two types of creative people. Precrastinators and Procrastinators. Whilst we’re all aware of what procrastination is, precrastination is when you plan everything well in advance, (along with all the stress that goes with it). Adam explained that instead of thinking through all the options and outcomes and trying to plan for everything, that we should embrace a bit more chaos and allow the extreme focus that comes with knowing you left everything to the last minute.
For me, I believe that there is a good balance that can be achieved (given my career as a graphic designer you have no time to do either so you have adapt to that). Plan a little, enough so that when you need a prompt you have it, but allow yourself the time to let ideas mellow and percurlate and trust your instincts.
Are you more of a precrastinator or a procrastinator? Do you tend to balance the two? Let us know in the comment section below. And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!
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Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Jan. 18, 2019
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