I struggle with pulling myself from the dream state. My mind is always racing with new photography and video ideas, scripts to write, things to design and books to do. As a mother of 3, it can be fucking exhausting to constantly be active and then to settle down and try to churn out the content in my mind.
Some folks are just naturally blessed with the ability to multitask (Virgos♍) they can do 48 things in 24 hours and still come out like “You got any more?”
I’m not that person or at least I wasn’t (not Virgo level but better) until I truly sat my ass down and grilled myself like an FBI agent to find out what exactly was my problem.
After much interrogation (and some Astrological pointers…hey I needed all the help I could get) I found 5 Ways that turned me from a “One Day I Will” to a “What Are We Waiting For?” kind of person.
For the tech lovers this is blasphemy, but for the creative, this can make or break a project from actually getting started. STOP telling yourself that if only you had some new camera or a new mic you could really do something. This is nothing but an excuse. Even when you do get it, if you based starting the new album by waiting for something else, you’ll find another reason to procrastinate.
Work with what you have, ask to use or borrow friends or family’s equipment if they already have it. Rent if it’s possible. Don’t have the right lighting? Improvise, use white light bulbs and put a sheer white cloth in front of it. If your computer is down or your phone and tablet are broken and your story needs to be written, good ol’ pen and paper have never failed.
It’s true. These pain in asses have your best interest at heart whether you realize it or not. Writing down your day to day schedule and your list of important to least important tasks really puts how you’re spending your time into perspective. Setting a deadline will help to prioritize and organize your schedule. Soon you’ll discover that the reason you didn’t finish the last art piece because of a Rick & Morty Marathon you binged watched…twice.
The kind of deadlines I set I like to call “Event or Situation Deadlines”. I’ll explain what that is in number 4.
Number 2 means absolutely nothing if there are NO consequences. Trust me, as an expert procrastinator, I have made all kinds of lists, Schedules, deadlines, and lists about scheduling deadlines.
I had to come up with something that would push me to get through once I got started. So I asked people to check on me. To call or text to ask about my progress on a daily or weekly basis.
Involve other people, like friends or family… the ones that won’t cower in face of your “Stop-fucking-calling-or-I-will-punch-you-in-the-jaw” attitude when they help you stay on track. And honestly don’t even have that attitude. They are giving up their time to help you out. They don’t have to.
That’s right, force yourself out there.
Sign up for an open mic with a friend if your a poet, collab on a song with a serious artist, make a street shoot date with another photographer or ask if you can film someone. Choose non-flakey family members or friends or choose influential strangers and business owners. Make it difficult to pull out (😜) of the commitments you make.
These are my Event Deadlines. They are situations that put my credibility on the line. I don’t want that so it’s not hard to skip my midday 2-hour bubble bath and get to work.
When you know someone is waiting for the final project, you try not to disappoint and complete your task. Cuz, now you gotta…
This one is pretty simple. If your camera is in the closet take it out and put it in your room where you can see it. If your computer is in the room you barely go in, move it to a more frequented area. Put your schedule in plain sight and your To Do list should be visible. It should be like the elephant in the room mentality. You can’t ignore it so you might as well do something about it. (No…putting them back is not what I mean.)
I hope this helps! I’ll be sure I share anything else I come across that’s useful so we can keep creating and stay productive!
What do you do to stay creatively productive? How does your lifestyle affect your ability to pursue creative projects?