Are you scared of drawing? Draw or Sleep!

Procrastination is a biggie. Who doesn’t suffer from that time stealing demon? It’s a challenge for everyone: students, office workers, parents, presidents…

Iris Hopp - I'll get to it (procrastination)
“I’ll get to it…”

Hello, I’m Iris and I’m a recovering procrastinator. 🙂

In my last post on procrastination, I wrote about figuring out whether you are working or fake working.

But sometimes I know that I’m wasting my time. I know that I should be drawing. I know that I’ll feel bad later.

I’ll just eat a little snack… Oh, let’s do this first… one more episode and then I’ll…

There’s this one thing you have to do… You don’t feel at ease, because it’s gnawing in the back of your mind. You haven’t finished your work yet. You should be working. What are you doing? Why aren’t you working? No matter how high you turn up the volume of your music (or video), you cannot drown it out.
You just don’t want to get started.

It took me some years, but I found a solution! A surprisingly simple one…

Draw or sleep.

When you have one big, scary task to do, but you aren’t doing it:
You either do it or you sleep.
Iris Hopp - face construction practice maleDo you have to work on it now? No. But you can’t avoid it either. Until it is finished, you aren’t allowed to do anything else but sleep or work on it. You can’t even eat until you’ve started the task. Okay, a sip of water is fine (don’t want to damage our health here).

Not going to draw? Okay, your only alternative is going to bed. No music, lights out, not even daydreaming. Just concentrate on falling asleep. No, you don’t even get to read a bedtime story (Amazon link).

At times I actually fell asleep. Are you tired? It is possible that you aren’t working hard, because you are actually tired… exhausted… That happens a lot late in the evening or at night. “I’ll start when…” and even if you try, you can’t concentrate so you end up procrastinating. When you go to bed, you fix the cause of your procrastination!

But most of the time you are procrastinating because other stuff is 1) more interesting 2) less scary. Laying in your bed is less scary than working. But since you aren’t allowed to do anything but just laying there – not even fantasizing about unicorns – it is also incredibly boring.

So you’d rather work. Before you starve from not being allowed to eat.

I love the method: either I end up having a well-deserved nap or I end up starting the job!

Next time you find yourself procrastinating – stop everything. Do you have to start working? No, you just have to stop doing anything.

And then you choose:

Draw or sleep?

Iris Hopp - sketchbook page

Tell me how it works for you! 😀
As for me… eh, well… goodnight!

– Iris