Creative people tend to get bogged down by endless brainstorming (because they love ideas), perfectionist tendencies (because they care about quality), and endless distractions (because they can’t turn their brains off).
There are 3 main reasons that prevent a creative reaching his true potential:
1). Endless brainstorming – creatives love ideas and often have a constant rush of new things that come to mind.
2). Perfectionism – they just care about quality
3). Daily distractions – unexpected calls, urgent emails that need an urgent answer, long meetings and much more.
Does this ring a bell?
Truth is, a lot of creatives aren’t organizing their day efficiently and this often causes a lot more anxiety than is necessary. To help solve this issue, we’ve compiled a short list with practical tips to help creatives organize their day and provide enough time for creative work.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. –Walt Disney
Let’s go through some of the most valuable tips to help you start getting things done much more efficiently.
Establish time for creative work
If you still haven’t done this, set a time for your creative work and start guarding it jealously. Saying ”No” to plans/people will help you finish what you’ve started much sooner than expected. A simple habit to put into practice every time a new task, idea or something else pops up, is to always put it off.
Here’s a bit of an extreme example that also works: LPK’s creative director Nathan Hendricks did an experiment with his team – they had to lock away their phones and computers for a day. Of course you don’t need to go that far – that is if you are disciplined enough and can stop from checking your email once every 2-3 minutes, for example.
Building your own system
Creatives often perceive systems as an enemy to their productivity. That’s why if you build your own system, this could guarantee you’ll stick to it much better. Each productivity system is based on different rules. Create your own rules depending on what kind of daily distractions you usually experience.
For example, if your time for creative work is between 9 a.m. and midday (12 p.m.turn off the notification sounds and the vibration signals on your phone. Or if your inbox get stuffed with a lot of emails, set a rule to reply, delegate, delete or forward them just after midday and right before your lunch break.
Just check your email between, say, 12 and 12.15,
Stay in shape
Once, you’ve mastered the skill of squeezing enough time out for your creative work, make sure you have enough time to get inspired. Read magazines, browse Pinterest, watch creative advertisements. Also spend time asking people some big questions – ask the cab driver what crazy stuff he’s experienced in his career as a driver or ask your friend’s teenager what they think about the future.
Give up quickly
Mastering the skill of dropping works with no potential is vital for your productivity on projects with higher potential. You’ll often need a quick fail to free space for a project with more potential.
If something goes wrong, express your feelings and let people involved in the project know your thoughts. That’s the positive way to use anxiety as an opportunity to boost your productivity system.
Stay accountable – start what you finish
Be accountable and record your projects, commitments and tasks. You then see everything you’ve started, what you’ve already done and the tasks you need to complete. Seth Godin says in Linchpin,“The only purpose of starting is to finish.”
What to do next?
– In case you still haven’t heard, Swipes has been selected as on of the 5 Nominees for Best Mobile Productivity app at the 19th Annual Webby Awards. Learn the details and vote.
– We are very curious to hear from you. You are encouraged to share your own experience on how you are dealing with distractions and perfectionism in the comments below.