Hey Creative Heart! Today, let’s talk about how to get creative projects done. If you’ve got something you want to birth into the world, let’s break it down into the steps I’ve found are very useful when it comes to circumventing procrastination and overriding resistance.
Like to listen instead? Press play below:
Video Transcript: How to Get Creative Projects Done
In this video, I wanted to share with you eight simple keys that are good reminders. Sometimes, we know these things, but if you’re like me and you’re sometimes up against something that you’re like, “How do I get this done again?” it’s just nice to have a place where you can come back to and go, “That’s right. Those tips work.”
#1. Start with a To-Do List
First of all, I start my day with a to-do list. Actually, what I do is I create what I call an “on-ramp”, by writing my to-do list the night before.
For me, I keep a running to-do list that’s quite long in an online program called Asana. I don’t want to look at all those things because it’s too overwhelming, so the night before, I’ll just make a list of say three, maybe five things that need to be done the next day.
For me, the key is to really only focus on one main creative project per day.
I don’t cope very well with having a lot of different things going on, and so I try and create spaciousness and just focus on getting the main project done.
Having a to-do list is a fantastic thing to use, and then make sure you check off as you’re making progress throughout the day. If you get to 2:00pm and you realize that you haven’t done any of the things on your to-do list, don’t freak out.
Just hit reset on your day, and think, “Okay. This is my opportunity to start taking some action.”
#2. Don’t Freak Out (if It doesn’t get done)
The second tip about that is when I don’t complete all the things on my to-do list for the day, which happens actually quite regularly, don’t freak out. Just move it over to the next day, as long as it’s not something that obviously has a deadline and had to get done.
In which case, you will have wanted to employ this next tip that I find very helpful, and that is using some kind of public accountability.
#3. Tell People You Trust What You’re Creating
People talk about posting on your Facebook page if you’ve got something that you want to launch in your business, because it gives yourself some public accountability. Or you may like to put it on your Facebook profile and tell your friends that you’re planning to do this x, y, z thing.
For me, I sometimes do that, particularly if it has a fixed date and it’s got to do with my business, but if it’s just something that’s happening behind the scenes or I feel a little bit more that I need to have a sense of privacy around it, then I will likely only tell two, maybe three people, and that’s my husband, my mum, and my best friend.
Otherwise, I will freak out, thinking that everybody knows what I’m doing.
You don’t have to tell the whole world, but I do recommend giving yourself some kind of accountability with a buddy, somebody that you trust and feel comfortable with.
#4. Give Yourself a Break
The forth tip that I employ with great enthusiasm is, “Give yourself a break.” After you’ve been taking steps towards your creative vision, then you may feel a little depleted and tired, in which case it’s totally worthwhile, in my experience, to take a short break. It might be an hour, if you’ve got that much time.
For me, for example before I made this video today, I thought, “I’m going to watch half an episode of my favorite Australian TV drama, ‘Offspring,’ and then I’m going to save the other half for a reward for getting this done.”
I think we’re up to tip number four or five, is make sure that you motivate yourself by giving yourself something that you genuinely get excited about being able to have. For me, it’s being able to watch Nina, in “Offspring”, and check out all the dramas that’s happening in her crazy world down in Fitzroy.
#5. Remove Distractions
Another tip that I employ and is really, really, really helpful, is to try and remove distractions when you’re actually working on your project. Today I’ve got my mobile phone switched completely off, so I can’t even hear it vibrate if somebody calls or I get a text or anything happens.
Sometimes I will use those concentration apps on the computer, but to be honest, I’m better off just turning off the internet altogether if I need to focus on writing solely. Even then, the temptation can get the better of me, so that’s when I like to take the computer away from civilization and go and sit in the bush or go camping or do something, and really be able to focus with no distractions.
#6. Don’t Get Stuck Worrying About Perfection
This next tip is, “Don’t worry about perfection.” Perfection is something that is really out there and it’s quite subjective. If something’s subjective then it can’t be in a fixed, permanent state, so therefore it’s actually impossible to achieve. Don’t get concerned about perfection.
Try to bring it back to remembering what it is you’re actually trying to achieve through the project that you’re doing.
Is it just purely to satisfy yourself? Is it to try and convey a message to the people that you’re communicating with?
Whether it be through a painting or it be through a piece of writing or it be through a blog post. Then pare it back to recognizing when good is good enough. I often tell myself that: “Good is good enough.”
#7. Remember Why You’re Creating Your Awesome New Thing
This next tip is about where you put your focus. It can get a little bit overwhelming when we’re doing the nuts and bolts of the finicky side of making things, that we lose focus on why we’re actually doing something.
Why is it important to you? What is it going to enable you to experience more of in your life? Having a little reminder of, “Hey! That’s right. I’m doing this so that I can x, y, and z.
I can take a bath this evening, or I can provide for my children, or I can be an example for how to be able to express my creativity for my children,” then those are really beautiful reasons to come back to, and they can help to motivate us to focus on our creative project.
#8. Focus on One Thing at a Time
Finally, and this is an oldie but a goodie: focus on one thing at a time. Once you’ve got your to-do list, just block out even the things that are underneath, and just focus on one thing.
Give yourself permission to put all your attention on what you’re doing, and you’ll feel motivated once you’ve been able to check it off your list and you can move onto the next.
There’s my tips to help us all get our creative projects out into the world.
They don’t have to be perfect and they are so satisfying once they are completed, so I encourage you, whatever it is that you’re desiring to birth into the world: give yourself permission to do it imperfectly, to focus on one thing at a time, and reward yourself.
For more great tips like these, come on over to nicolanewman.com and if you like, you may like to sign up for my free, 10-day e-course, which teaches you how to get started with painting and creativity. It’s loads of fun and I’d love to see you there. You can find that at nicolanewman.com/begin.
Wishing you a fantastic week.
Be kind to yourself & nurture your creativity.
Did you miss last week’s post? Check it out here: Common Overthinking Mistake of Creatives
If you’re new to my blog, and you would like some help to get started with painting or creativity, I’ve created a beautiful ten day free e-course, that takes you through just that, getting started with painting and creativity.
You can find that at http://www.nicolanewman.com/begin. You’ll be taken through how to paint an abstract painting, and we’ll have a writing and photography adventure! It’s loads of fun. Sign up and start painting & creating today!