July 2003 Anticrastination Tip Sheet

What's the opposite of Procrastination?
An Idea and Tip Sheet to Blast Away the
Procrastination Habit
From Rita Emmett
& THE PROCRASTINATING CHILD: A Handbook for Adults to Help
Children Stop Putting Things Off


Quote For July:

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a
yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip, and worried to
death by a frown on the right man's brow.
--- Charlie Brower (Cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES)


In July, we in the United States celebrate the creation of our nation. Last year I officially declared July to be Creativity Month, and nobody disputed or arrested me, so Happy Creativity Month again.

To me, the best way to power up our creativity is to recognize “CREATIVITY STOPPERS”. One of the most common reasons why we procrastinate with fresh, new, exciting creative ideas is that people are happy (yea, verily ….. delighted) to give us “reasons” why our ideas are no good or would not work AND WE BELIEVE THEM!

Our creativity soars when we recognize these doomsday  statements to be merely creativity stoppers and NOT reasons to be believed. Here are some examples:

Creativity Stoppers

  1. It's been tried before. It won't work.
  2. It's never been tried before. It won't work.
  3. That's not the way we do things. It won't work.
  4. These people won't go along with it. It won't work.
  5. You don't have what it takes to do that (You are too stupid, too
    inexperienced, too new, too old, too tall, too sick, too colorful,
    too weird). It won’t work.
  6. It's too much trouble. It won’t work.
  7. Sneer, yawn, frown
  8. Joke, sarcasm, laughter
  9. Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk
  10. Gossip, put-downs, ridicule
  11. Sigh, rolled eyes, smirk

You get the idea. This list could go on and on. AND these things could have the power to discourage or deter you unless you make yourself aware of what is happening when people try to sabotage your creativity.

Study this list. Memorize it. Tattoo it on your arm. Post it where you can see it. Re-read it redundantly until these stoppers become a recognizable force to be challenged or ignored, rather than a reason for not pursuing your creative idea.

Dave Barry, the humorist writer, had a brilliantly creative idea. He decided to list some of those “Well, you can’t argue with THAT” lessons that he has learned in his lifetime.  If you were to do that, what would be the biggest, hard-to-argue lesson you’ve learned? 
Here are Dave’s top twelve:

Things That It Took Me 50 Years To Learn By Dave Barry

  1. Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
  2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
  3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
  4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them in return.
  5. And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories, decides to deliver a message to humanity, He will NOT use as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad haircut.
  6. You should not confuse your career with your life.
  7. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
  8. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
  9. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
  10. The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.
  11. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
  12. Your friends love you anyway.

Now here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it: When the next creative whim hits you, go for it – whether it’s cooking, painting, dancing, decorating, writing, designing, building, coloring in a coloring book or whatever. Don’t worry or care about the outcome. Just enjoy the creative process.

Happy July.

Help Sos Mayday

Here’s a chance to be creative. I want to collect some of the very best, most creative clutter tips in the world. Do you have a favorite? Please send it to me and if I use it in a book, I’ll make sure to give you credit as a contributor. Thank you.