This week we chat about procrastination. This is something that every single creator seems to struggle with. Often, we should be focusing on completing important projects or growing our creative business, but we just can’t seem to find focus. In this episode, we share our experiences on how procrastination impacts our daily work and discuss our methods for how to fight it.

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Meet Your Hosts

The Honest Designers Show started when our founder Tom found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with top designers; Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee. We soon organised a weekly call where we would help each other with areas we were struggling with and try to give each other actionable feedback. Soon we realised that the collective experience of the group was proving so valuable for each of us, that we thought ‘why not share these conversations with the world?’.

And so, The Honest Designers Show was born! This podcast is an insight into how to succeed in the creative industry, as well as giving you a totally transparent, under the hood look at some of the tougher, less glamorous hurdles to overcome! We also tend to get a little goofy along the way, so this is a chance to get to know each of us a little better :). We’ve loved recording this show for you, and we hope that you find value and enjoyment in listening to it.

SHOW NOTES

Please find full show notes for this episode below:

[1:00] This week we’re talking all about procrastination
[1:40] Designers are more likely to experience procrastination due to the nature of their work
[2:30] Certain jobs require a set amount of time to complete, but for creative work there isn’t a set structure or time frame for completing a project
[3:00] With some projects you will feel inspired and find your flow, while others might drag out to the very last second
[3:40] The size of the project is an important factor in getting the work started as some bigger projects might overwhelm you
[4:40] It’s hard to plan a project when you don’t know how the final product will look like
[5:40] Dustin gives the example of newspaper writers, they have to submit the work before a deadline and this gives them the impulse they need to get the work done
[6:20] Lisa agrees that it helps having deadline, as she experienced this while working for a creative company
[6:40] Ian asks the hosts what are some of the reasons that made them procrastinate in the past week
[6:50] Lisa mentions two reasons: the job is vague or there is a task, like admin, that she generally doesn’t like doing
[7:45] For Tom the main reason is being tired and unable to work
[8:25] Ian agrees with Tom and says that he felt this over the last couple of months
[9:00] Dustin found this is more likely when he must put together files to send to others
[10:20] Ian finds structuring his files for different font sites difficult, so he will postpone getting this done
[11:20] Dustin will most likely delegate work he doesn’t like doing, but finds it difficult to do so when it’s something he needs to do for a friend or close partner
[12:20] There are certain things that no one enjoys, but they just need to be done
[12:50] Lisa was procrastinating when she first started doing illustrations and thinks this is due to the pressure of getting it right
[13:30] You will sometimes procrastinate work that really needs doing most
[14:00] Ian experienced this with his lettering
[14:30] There are two different reasons for procrastinating: you either fear you’re not good enough or you don’t like the work that needs to be done
[15:00] Most successful people don’t procrastinate
[16:00] Tom used to procrastinate more in the past
[16:40] Procrastinating less and getting things done in time was a real game changer for Tom
[17:00] You need to stop finding excuses why you can’t do the work and just get it done
[17:30] Often designers with consistency in delivery will win over more talented designers
[18:00] Ian finds he can only focus for short periods of time
[18:30] This applies to his lettering as well, as he can’t focus on a single style of lettering
[19:00] There’s nothing worse than wasted downtime
[19:40] Dustin thinks people should work 50% less than they do, and use the rest to have experiences that will result in creative ideas
[20:40] Ian looks forward to the launch of the waterproof iPad, to use this in the shower as this is where people get most of their creative ideas
[21:20] Lisa says she finds social media a reason for procrastinating and this is why she only has one social media account
[22:20] Ian found having separate pages for business and personal accounts very useful
[23:00] Tom ended up deleting his Facebook mobile app and moved Instagram to the very end of his phone apps
[24:30] It’s human nature to fall into the social media temptation and then feel guilty about it later
[25:30] Lisa finds that having a weekly routine and splitting the week into projects helps her get the work done
[26:00] She also gives herself little rewards for getting stuff done
[28:00] Tom lists a few ways to avoid procrastination when you don’t have a boss or a deadline
[29:00] Halving or reducing a deadline time is a useful hack
[29:30] For Dustin doing tasks for very short periods of time, helped him get the work done
[30:40] Ian struggles most with procrastination since he started doing freelance work and since there is no external pressure or a set deadline
[32:30] Tom: “It’s a greater motivation wanting to avoid something negative, than it is to aspire to something positive”
[33:30] Getting the work done depends on how many degrees of separation there are between the work and the reward you get on completion
[34:40] You get more motivation once you see the rewards coming in
[35:20] Ian thinks he needs to reset the balance between making products and posting on social media
[36:40] Dustin asks Ian what is the reward he gets from posting on social media and Ian says this has opened a lot of opportunities for him
[38:00] Ian sees the social media as a long-term game while the product creation is a short-term game
[38:50] Dustin explains the Seinfeld method of being productive, by having a calendar on the wall with boxes for all 365 days and marking each day you get something done
[40:20] The hosts still experience procrastination
[41:00] The solution to avoiding procrastination is different to everyone
[41:30] Lisa has learned that she just needs to get the work done and finds getting started the biggest hurdle
[42:40] Most of the work ends up getting done in the last week
[43:15] The more you procrastinate the harder it gets to start the work
[44:00] It doesn’t need to be your best work, just start it and get some of the work done

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