Are you trying to stop yourself from procrastinating, over and over again? Stop trying! It turns out, moderate procrastination can be a good thing.
The Effect Of Procrastination On Creativity
Research shows that procrastinating can be good for your creativity. In a study by Jihae Shin (now a professor at the University of Wisconsin) participants were asked to come up with new business ideas. Group 1 was asked to do the task right away, while groups 2 and 3 were distracted for 5 and 10 minutes before they could start. Their ideas were rated on creativity.
The result showed that group 2, the moderate procrastinators, came up with 28% more creative ideas than the other groups.
Could it be that the following famous creations arose not despite, but because of procrastination?
• Martin Luther King kept rewriting his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech up until the last minute. He didn’t even write the bulk of the speech until late in the night.
Picture: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Appreciation Blog
• It took Leonardo da Vinci 16 years to finish the Mona Lisa. He worked on it (on and off) for a few years, stopped and completed it an estimated 10 years later.
Picture: Victor Grigas for Wikipedia
• Pixar Animation Studio’s co-founder Ed Catmull pursued the dream of what would later become ‘Toy Story’ for around 20 years.
Why Procrastination Is Good For Creativity
It seems that these original thinkers have a way of working that follows a ‘quick to start, slow to finish’ rhythm. They take the time to tweak their idea, and to let it rest. During this period creativity has a chance to manifest itself.