The Half-Ass Creative Process for Procrastinators

Image - Half Ass Steps Creation, renovation, transformation -- making something out of thin air or making something over to better suit the bigger vision you have for your life.

Big goals require incremental progress. There's no getting around it.

But even more important than a grand plan -- a master blueprint, a strategic schedule, or a color-coded To Do list system -- is the ability to simplify some shit.

Break down big, overwhelming goals into the smallest possible individual steps. With minimal expectations. Then, all you have to do is show up and execute one step -- the next step.

Great. You got it. The only thing standing in your way is procrastination. Yeah yeah yeah -- now you just have to "push past procrastination," right?

Here's the good news: you can totally half-ass it.

See how close you can get to working without doing anything. If you sidle up to progress, shuffle along the edge of it, and keep leaning a bit too far over the railing -- you will eventually fall in.

  • Mood is irrelevant. Some days you feel jacked up and powerful, and a lot of days you're just not feeling it. Your success revolves around feeling shitty and getting something done anyway.
  • Show up. Play a game with yourself where you're going to take a photograph of what it looks like when you're doing the thing you want to be doing. Once you're sitting in front of the computer with the document open, or sitting in the parking lot of the gym in workout clothes -- once you're that close -- you might "accidentally" decide to take the next step...
  • Keep moving. Crawl if you have to, it's still progress. Even finding out you're going the wrong way is valuable.
  • Question your desire. True desire requires less motivation to act. How badly do you want this? What would life be like if you simply gave up? Consider giving it up. If you can live without it, maybe it's not as important as you're pretending it is.
  • Get clear about what it is you think you're doing. Knowing what you're going to do, before it's time to do it, makes it easier to go through the motions.
  • Get clear about what's stopping you. You probably don't need to wait until your next paycheck to buy cute yoga pants. Put on some ugly ass sweats and go. I promise you'll still feel a tiny bit prettier, just because you went to class.
  • Be honest about your qualifications. Are you capable of performing the basic action steps that will move you toward your goal? Do you even know what those steps are? Are they skills you can acquire?
  • Ask someone for help. Get a reading, take a class, hire a trainer, get a coach, find a mentor.
  • Research later. Studying is not always action. Unless you're working on a degree, or studying as part of an academic regimen, reading about what you want to accomplish is not action.

"Research" is a procrastinator's sweetest addiction.

You only need to know enough to start. You don't have to be an expert to begin.

Nobody's an expert at the beginning of anything.

Everybody looks like a big dork the first time they work out... First drafts are supposed to be a mess... And a big sweaty mess is a ton more than nothing.

So here's the best half-ass trick of all: go see how badly you can do it.

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Image credit Simon Pais-Thomas via Creative Commons on Flickr