Procrastination vs Percolation

Laura Quilligan
2 min readSep 26, 2021

Photo by Alexandra Gorn

Procrastination is a normal part of the creative process. There is a positive flip side to procrastination, and it’s percolation. Procrastination feels heavy, and has a sense of pressure to get to it. Whereas, percolation is lighter, more forgiving, more airy, and easy going. You want to try and cultivate the feeling of lightness, softening and being gentle with yourself. You can say, “I’ll let it go for now”, and be ok with it.

I was trying to determine if I was percolating writing my blog on the meaning of procrastination. How ironic! I think part of me was procrastinating and part of me was percolating.

So what are the differences and what do they feel like?

One way to jumpstart your procrastination is to set a deadline to begin your project.

My deadline for blogging is 1x per week on Sundays. I missed two Sundays in a row. However, I could excuse myself (without a sense of pressure), because my daughter was getting married. She got married! I was able to be flexible, and soften down my feelings of high expectations. As long as you are gentle with yourself, you can allow the feelings of procrastination and percolation to happen simultaneously.

You can honor your commitment to show up.

This takes discipline. I try, when I’m stuck or blocked, to just show up to the page. If I don’t write, I try not to beat myself up. Stepping away, taking a break, walking around the block, dancing in your living room, or deep breathing, can be ways to break it down and give yourself permission to just be. The discipline part kicks in when you just “do it anyway”. Then you can see what happens. If you remain curious about what your mind is doing, then you are taking the pressure off. You can be like an anthropologist discovering what lies beneath the surface, and are enthused about what you may find.



Laura Quilligan

Artisan, certified Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach. Your creativity is a journey of courage and perseverance. I can help with your blocks.