Procrastination! The Artist’s Death Nail


Oh yes, Procrastination. With a capital “P”. You all know of it. I am sure with 100% certainty, every single one of you has experienced it. This is not only something that an artist has to deal with but most certainly, everyone in life deals with procrastination from time to time. I have been reading the very famous, “Think and Grow Rich” for a while now. If you haven’t read it or haven’t even heard of it, you WILL go out and purchase it immediately. “If you are ready”, it will change your life. Napoleon Hill takes you through a journey. However, I am not here to take you through that journey myself. I would like to simply quote a passage in the book.

“PROCRASTINATION. This is one of the most common causes of failure. “Old Man Procrastination” stands within the shadow of every human being, waiting his opportunity to spoil one’s chances of success. Most of us go through life as failures, because we are waiting for the “time to be right” to start doing something worthwhile. Do not wait. The time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

Think about this for a few. Let it sink in. A common theme in the book and in the philosophy of many, many successful people in history is to “keep moving forward”. My favorite quote of all time, of course, is from Walt Disney who said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

There is no such thing as failure. Failure only opens new doors in order to succeed. Here is my formula for overcoming procrastination. Yes, it may be like many other formulas, and there are a ton out there. But I have adapted this one and use it quite a bit.

Overcoming Procrastination:
  1. Consider your task at hand. Break it down into its key components. You may find it is not as daunting as you originally thought. Write it down on paper. Step by step.
  2. See yourself finishing the task in your mind. Keep this in your mind. Do not dwell on not finishing it. All this does is tell your subconscious that you will not finish.
  3. Start by focusing on actually beginning the task, rather than finishing the task. (baby steps)
  4. Do not fear failure. Perfection breeds procrastination.
  5. Keep negative thoughts out of your mind. Should, could, and would are also “destructive thoughts”.
  6. The success of each step is not an end, but a step toward the next task.
  7. Reward yourself upon completion.

Try this formula out the next time you feel you are procrastinating. It may just work for you. Do you have a story of procrastination? Did you overcome it? Tell me how in the comments below.

Thank you for reading

-Michael Dunnam

3D Environment Artist