We tend to think of procrastination negatively, but sometimes waiting as long as possible to tackle a task can be productive—especially if you’re looking for creative solutions. John Cleese, legendary writer, actor, and tall person, shares tips on the creative process. Famous for his work with the Monty Python films and television series, the BBC comedy Fawlty Towers, as well as feature films like A Fish Called Wanda, the writer, actor, comedian and film producer knows from funny.
Weblog Co.Create reports on the lessons Cleese shared at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. One of them was about a study done by Brian Bates, a psych professor at Sussex University, on what trait separated the most creative architects from uncreative ones. Besides having a more childlike immersion or sense of play in their work, the creative architects deferred making decisions as long as possible. This “productive procrastination,” so to speak, gives your unconscious mind the most amount of time to come up with something, according to Cleese.
He also talks about how the unconscious mind can work in the background and improve on early ideas. Cleese had once lost a piece of writing he had done with Graham Chapman and had to quickly rewrite it from memory, without thinking about it. Turns out the piece done quickly was better than the original:
The only thing I could think was that my unconscious had been working on the sketch and improving it ever since I wrote it. I began to see a lot of my best work seemed to come as a result of my unconscious working on things when I wasn’t really attending to them.
The overall thought for someone like myself who spends time communicating with a wide range of people, is to not pressure yourself to come up with something right away; leaving presentations and projects unresolved as long as possible can help.
Check out 4 Lessons in Creativity from John Cleese for the full article.