by Cara Lumen
You are flooded with exciting ideas and don’t know which to choose and how to even begin to do them all. Well you can’t do them all and you do have to choose but once you have chosen you have to make it happen. Here are some ways to get more out of the time you spend being creative.
Be aware of your most creative time. Are you a first thing in the morning writer or a last thing at night creative? Do you just get hit with creativity unexpectedly and feel the need to answer the muse? If you are a morning person but have a family who needs you, try getting up earlier than everyone else and get in some good solid private creative time.
Use waiting time. You’ll be amazed at what you can do if you are prepared with a small notebook for writing down ideas, or organizing a project. Use a tape recorder to record the main points of the talk you are preparing and use that to keep you on track as you go for your daily walk and practice out loud as you go. Use a thumb drive if you are going to be away from your computer so you can work on projects during your down time on someone else’s computer. There are recorders that you can use that will translate into Dragon Speak Naturally. At the very least keep a notebook handy for brainstorming while you wait.
Keep your eyes open for inspiration. I have started work on a new telecourse and now that I am thinking about the topic and looking for information it is showing up by the carloads. The funny thing is, if you know you need something and simply keep your eyes open, it will show up.
Plan your day the night before. This is an old office trick. Spend the last 15 minutes of your day preparing for the next day. Organize your desk, Set up your lists and prioritize them, look up phone numbers you may need, get the materials together you need to complete what you have assigned yourself for the next day. Easy to do and a great boost in the morning.
Put off email. If you are your most creative first thing, then write for two hours and then answer your email. Its way too easy to be pulled away from your intention by an email you need to answer or a blog post you need to read. Look at your email every two hours – not every 15 minutes.
Pre-prepare healthy snacks. That seems odd for time management, but my son works out of his home and mentioned how he keeps grabbing pretzels because he doesn’t have time to stop to eat. If that sounds familiar, get some sunflower seed butter and Wassa crackers to keep on hand, or celery and almond butter, or make some granola that even tastes good dry. And don’t forget hard boiled eggs – sweet-sour mustard and dill make you think you are on a picnic. Easy, fast and protein.
Pay attention to your attention. That’s particularly important for creatives. Keep that brainstorming list open on your computer so if a random creative idea comes in you can quickly capture it and move back to what you are doing. If you have to spend five minutes capturing some of the details of the idea fine, but try to keep on target with the task you set for yourself.
Be sure and set deadlines for yourself whenever possible and reward yourself when you get things done as you had planned, especially the important ones. You might want to start an acknowledgement file for yourself where every night before ending your work you write down what you have accomplished. At the end of the week you can really see and acknowledge your progress. I use my Magnetic Marketing Momentum Builder for my own personalized cheering section.
Do just one more thing. Before going to bed, try to do just one more thing to make the day more complete, and eliminate one task for the next day.
Honor your own rhythm. When you need a break take one. When you have to stop thinking, turn on some music and dance, or go for a walk, or call up a friend to chat, or make some tea and watch The View. Move your body every 20 minutes or so. Look out the window, move your shoulders and neck. Take deep five breaths and release tension on every exhale.
Concentrate on one thing at a time. Start with difficult or boring tasks first while you are still fresh and get this "chore" out of the way to make the rest of the day easier for yourself. Be active in what you are doing at any given time.
Be realistic in your expectations of yourself. Go back to the idea of writing down how long each item will take and make a realistic schedule. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep the schedule but learn to truly understand what you can get done in a certain time period.
© 2009 Cara Lumen