Tag Archives: productivity

Procrastinate for the Win + Creative Scaffolding starts on Saturday!

Think that procrastination means you are wrong, broken or lazy? Not a chance! If I believed that I’d be rocking gently in a corner of my flat right now…

Procrastination is a part of living, a part of ART-MAKING and if you embrace it, it’ll change everything!

There is still time to sign-up for my free call today on how to make procrastination your BFF (and if you can’t make the call live, a recording will be emailed out to you within 24 hours).

And Creative Scaffolding, my love-letter to creativity in all aspects of life, starts on Saturday and I’d be beside myself with joy if you joined me. We’re going to take all that unused creative potential inside of you and we’re going to revolutionize your life!

I know that sounds like a big statement but the last time I ran this course one participant moved to the other side of Canada and sold her house, another stood up to her boss about her working conditions and another realized that she was incredibly talented at helping people execute their dreams so she created a workshop! None of them considered themselves ‘creative’ when we started working together and they certainly didn’t see how creativity impacted such seemly diverse and unrelated parts of their lives. But it does..and it DID!

SO DO IT! Love, P x


How to Make Procrastination Your BFF! – A Telejam

No, seriously! It’s possible – Procrastination doesn’t have to be the bane of your life.

It’s more like an awkward dinner guest that you wish hadn’t come but by the end of the night has chatted to everyone (including your cranky aunty who never approves of anyone) and is standing over the sink washing the dishes while you enjoy your third slice of cake. It can be that good!

Let me show you how!

Join me on Wednesday, June 5th at 1pm PST for a one-hour jam that I hope will ultimately end the deadlock in your life and have you more productive than ever before.

I’ll also be making time at the end of the call for a Q+A on CREATIVE SCAFFOLDING, a 4-week guided adventure to unlock your innate Artist, find your own personal frame-work for engaging creativity and court inspiration in all you do!

:: Learn my 4 Golden Rules to Befriending Procrastination

:: Why we need Procrastination on our side instead if pushing against it and…

:: What to do when you just have no choice but to get the work done (otherwise known as ‘You Have One Hour to get Your Dreaded Jazz Harmony Homework Done – GO!’)

:: As well as all the juicy details on Creative Scaffolding and what to expect from 4 weeks of creative canoodling with moi.

My sincere hope is that this call will be of practical use to you. I’ll be sharing things that I learned the hard way, insights I wish I had had when I was in college and felt immobilized by a wall of procrastination that felt more akin to a straightjacket. There is no reason why work, Art or life need ever be this hard for anyone else…

And if you can’t make the call live, fear not! There will be a recording sent straight to your inbox for good measure, yours to keep forever and listen to whenever you need a pep-talk.

Just click the giant star below and sign up for all the details and call-in info. I can’t wait to get this party started with you…

sign me up!

The Right to Sleep

image by Stephen Brace, via Flickr Creative Commons

So this is the incredible paradox of Being Me (and I sincerely hope you too…go on, be a paradox with me so I don’t feel like a complete eejit!)…

I don’t sleep. I procrastinate going to bed. However I also need lots of sleep. Yup, you read that correctly.

I actively do not sleep but I also, actively sleep lots.

I’ve been thinking about this recently as I have been feeling tired. I blame the move. I did good at first. I packed. I said goodbye. I flew. I arrived. I shlepped stuff to places. I did lots of yoga and lots of exploring the new city. I went to bed early. I got up early.

Now I am freakin’ tired and sleeping for 12 hours, with some cat naps on the side, is not entirely out of the question. I have also been feeling super inspired and these lightning bolts of inspiration and energy hit me at bedtime. (Interesting Factoid – my maternal Grandfather was struck by lightning as a young man and survived!)

So what to do? This Paradox needs her rest! Her rest is key to creating high-quality creative stuff. The ‘early to bed & early to rise’ cycle helps get all the creativity juicy and rich, the ideas flowing. Now I want to actually create it and it wants to be created at 3 in the morning! And I’m a procrastinating SUCKER and will stay up and do it, even with obligations the next day.

I think that to dream is human but to Create, Divine. But I also think that to burn yourself out is all too human and to Sleep is Divine! I need both these things, obviously, in my life but I can’t seem to balance them for love nor money.

I think that is because I am letting the Creativity take priority. Creativity is an electric-blue high when it descends on you, what flying must feel like. It’s potent and addictive and somehow sacred, something you shouldn’t turn away.

“I don’t want to turn away that feeling from my life! What if it never comes back?!”, my Ego says.  Way to scare me out of bed and right to where you want me most. Tired, cranky, vunerable and striving hard.

So I’m here to Defend the Rights of Sleep…

(…cue national anthem of wherever you are and flag fluttering in the background, your eyes misting over slightly with pride…)

~ To be indulged at will

~ To be of sound quality and length

~ To be dream-full and content

~ To be protected from external forces that wish to side-line and marginalize it

I find these truths to be self-evident, and worthy of protection!

» Are you with me?!

Working WITH Procrastination

I have a tough teacher in life!

It turned up sometime around the first set of really important exams in my life, when I was about 16. It’s followed me around ever since, to college and beyond, into my home and my own personal endeavors.

It is unrelenting, pretty sneaky but delivers its message directly and then leaves you to do what you will with it. Which often means I miss the message and just do nothing!

It’s Procrastination.

Procrastination is the bane of my life. It is also the most constant, unflinching indicator of where my work and life are at in that exact moment. That’s because I don’t always procrastinate at every opportunity.

I don’t procrastinate when I’m fired up, in fact I often put other jobs and projects on the backburner to concentrate on what is exciting me right this moment.

I don’t procrastinate when I feel invested in the outcome, especially if I can see where this achievement could lead me in the future.

I don’t procrastinate when I am up against a deadline and must get it done.

I don’t procrastinate when I respect and admire the people I’m working with and am excited about our collaborating.

It wasn’t until I thought about procrastination in this way that I saw what procrastination illuminates.  It shows me where the energy has gone out of a project or where an idea is stale. Better than pushing against a brick wall, if I’m aware of WHY I’m procrastinating I can evaluate, change direction, improve and revitalise.

And there was me thinking that I was just Procrastinating-Pari forever!

So what has spending this entire evening trying to write this one little article taught me??

Well, I didn’t start with a plan so I had nothing to get fired up about, no outcome to focus on and no deadline for myself other than getting something posted TODAY! It was this fuzzy, unfocussed deadline that has dragged this article and realisation out of me, kicking and screaming and checking facebook every 10 minutes!

The easiest way to bypass procrastination completely is to start with a plan. A plan forces you to committ to your idea, evaluate and improve your system before you even start and get you fired up for the fun ahead!

And on that note, I’m off to have a cup of tea and relax after a hard evening procrastinating…


**Just a quick shout out to all my lovely readers who receive my blog via Google Reader or RSS feed…you probably didn’t see Friday’s post ‘More on Igniting Your Creativity’ pop up on your feed due to some technical difficulties here at Lighting Little Fires HQ! My sincere apologies!

Stop by and have a gander if you haven’t already. I’ll be updating it tomorrow with more books/articles/links recommended by the Superhero Possé of Creative Thinkers I’m lucky to know. Feel free to take your rightful place in our Possé and comment or tweet me if you have anything to add!**

Fasting for Creatives: Part 2

Fasting for Creatives

After the wonderful response to my article a few weeks ago I decided to solicit some opinions on the concept from friends, bloggers and artists I respect. The questions on deck were…

~ Are there ways in which you Fast to help your Creativity?

~ Do you even think fasting is appropriate for Creatives and the Arts or are these areas where depriving yourself for any reason is not productive?!

I was overwhelmed by the generous, thoughtful response I received and I hope these alternative perspectives help you in your Creative Endeavors. To re-cap on why I’m fasting at the moment you can check out my article ‘Creatively Fasting‘ and re-read my response to the above questions at ‘Fasting for Creatives‘. If you have any opinions, insights or questions please feel free to comment and discuss…that’s what it’s all about… :)

Erin Fickert-Rowland of ‘Elysian Studios‘ is an Artist and writer of wonderful tutorials, inspiration pieces and creative process articles. This was her response…

At this point in my creative journey, when I think of “fasting”, it applies to “idea generation.”  I am an idea junkie… I love thinking of new ways to create things: learning new techniques, communicating new ideas.  Granted, there is “nothing new under the sun”, but there is plenty that’s new to me every day, and I love fusing old ideas together and giving my own spin to it!

At some point, however, a highly creative person must put the brakes on all the potential, possibilities and new ideas, and actually produce work! You must sift, sort and select the best ideas you’ve had and dedicate yourself to a period of production.  As new ideas surface, they must be jotted down, but relegated to the back-burner until the production period is over and the new idea generation period begins.

I am about to enter a very serious stage of production! I have been learning so many new things about technology and modern business, networking like crazy, and preparing my studio/blog for production and now it’s time to begin!

So, my fasting will be restraining myself from getting side-tracked by new ideas.  No learning new crafts, no purchasing new supplies just because they look fun, no dreaming up new technological components for my business, no new networking outlets (social media/local organizations), and I am not even worried about “selling” my work for the time being.  I will produce!

Leah is a globe-trotting media wiz and art appreciator. She writes about her travels, loves and musings at Leah’s Home and is also taking part in the Bahá’í Fast at the moment….

I think any change to ones regular routine results in more creativity.  The fast is definitely a change from regular routine.  Your brain has to work a bit harder and approach things differently instead of just running on autopilot.  And exercise for your brain improves your creativity.  But I also think you don’t see a change in your creative achievements until after, when your energy levels are back up thanks to wonderful food!  I also think the fast makes you more conscious of how you organise your time.  It always makes me very aware how much time I spend thinking about food, buying food, eating food, cleaning up after eating the food!  You realise how much time is spent on the mundane stuff instead of the amazing and creative stuff.

Alexandra Franzen writes everything you are thinking but were afraid to say out loud about marketing and hustling on the inter-web while referencing rainbows and unicorns…I kid you not!

I overcame an eating disorder as a young teenager, so I steer away from fasting, as a rule — in much the same way that a person with alcoholic tendencies avoids alcohol, or a person who is allergic to kittens avoids a pet store.

That being said, I’m a big fan of media fasts — abstaining from electronic distractions and stimulations, for a designated period of time. I find that “jumping offline” for a day or two has extraordinary effects on my productivity and creative ambition. I can only imagine what might happen if I unplugged for a week, or more! I might take over the universe!

Jessica Powers is a yoga instructor-craft fiend. To read Jessica’s opinions on the nature of  fasting and her experiences of it check out ‘Creatively Fasting‘ (I’ve just updated it)…super interesting stuff!

…I’ve bounced back and forth, in and out of New Zealand for a year before being allowed to settle back in, and I still find that regular quiet time is needed.  A media fast from news, television, and radio whenever I can means I don’t indulge in the group fear and can be more emotional available for those I come into immediate contact with, rather than exhausted by continuous undirected and manipulated emotional involvement (I’m aware at how harsh that sounds, but it stems from my experiences and observations)…several long, mindful exhalations between activities…not forcing myself to knit on works in progress if I really don’t feel like knitting right then…allowing myself a day or two a week during which I don’t force myself to practice yoga if I don’t feel like it (this is distinct from not having the time for it – time I make, feeling comes unbidden, it’s a balance to explore)…not writing back to emails immediately if I can tell they will be better served if I allow the topic to sit with me for a bit…

So – yes – fasting helps keep us Creative.  In main, I feel, by giving us the opportunity to clarify our intentions and ability to channel the Divine Creative Source and have it, in the process of flowing through us clearly, become uniquely ours in its manifestation into the world.

As my Catholic family once beautifully pointed out: we let go of something for Lent so that we can have the space to develop our spiritual relationship.  It’s not about denying something for 40 days and 40 nights, it’s about bringing in something we want more.

I’ve been taught this in yoga and pagan education: if we release something we must likewise invite something else in. Otherwise, in the vaccum created by letting go, the same energy released will return again, familiar to us and an easy fit.

The four steps that I consider relate to fasting are:

Intention – a stock take, if you will – what would we like to release, what would we like to invite; setting up the circumstances for our fast – what, when, where, why, who (you might fast alone but have a support system in place to back you up and cheer you on), time taken to do this carefully will be well spent because an intention you don’t feel entirely committed to will not benefit from your full attention and care.

Action – how we go about releasing – fasting from an activity, a food; using activities, food, affirmations, meditation, prayer, etc.

Invitation – how we go about inviting new energy in – meditation, specific actitivities, affirmations, prayer, etc.

Exploration & Embodiment – creating new paradigms and patterns that support the invitation and support and strengthen our letting go of the energy/pattern/idea we wish to release; this is probably the most time consuming, because of how energy creates pathways, in our neural patterning in the brain and in the subtle body.

(If I told you the flowers in this shot were meant to be blurry would you believe me?! I love how sharp the grass in the background is though…)

Interested in reading more?! Check out these articles inspired by and building on the conversation we’ve started here…creative minds expanding on creative ideas!

» Erin Fickert-Rowland rolls with her musings for this article and extrapolates all the way to a whole new outlook on her creative life! With insightful questions and honest answers, she unravels how she motivates her creativity. To infinity and beyond!

» Adena Atkins, creativity mentor (am I allowed to call you that?! I feel you are to me…) and fellow ‘sustainable creativity’ blogger has pledged to broach this subject on her blog in the next week or so. Her current post is on the stages of productivity and, I feel, ties in completely with our discussion here…well worth a read…