As I wrote about last week, changing my question to ask for the #1 tip for helping with issues of time and focus got the conversation rolling again. It is so much easier to think of one answer than try to tap into many answers. Your thinking mind seems to say... OK, I can come up with just one answer.
Here is the original article.
Last week I talked about the challenges of Time and Focus in my Studio Notes. The majority of the responses to my previous Friday Question ”What are your top two challenges?” revolves around these two issues, Time and Focus. Not enough time to do everything you want to do. Difficulty in finding your focus and maintaining that focus. Last week I listed some potential solutions I have tried and ones I have been meaning to try. As I wrote last week, if you solve the challenge of time by deciding upfront to do less things, then the focus issue becomes easier because there is less to distract you. In my Friday Question series last week, I asked, "What is one solution for your top two challenges?" I am looking for ideas from people to add to this Solutions list. The more potential solutions the merrier. In this article, I add the responses I received last week from readers to the Solutions list.
Ideas to help with overwhelm and too many things to do…
Define your priorities
Go through them again and limit to a certain arbitrary number like 5 or 3
Say no to non-priorities
Use your creative time as one of relaxation like a creative meditation practice, not a source of more tension (This was key for me to set up systems to make this one work for me.)
Build in transition times between activities to slow yourself down
Seriously consider your use of technology as a tool not a distraction
Consider a minimalist approach
Just show up
Trust your instincts
Meditation (the sitting or the moving kind)
Solutions based on Readers Responses
Organize your Work Space.
Enjoy the Process
Be Mindful of your Daily Energy Levels
Clearly Define your Weekly Tasks
One reader suggested the Just Show Up option is helpful. Start on something. Just progressing on one thing can cause the momentum to shift.
Another reader suggested the best way to get out of the thinking/overwhelm part and move to the action part was to Organize your Work Space. The beautiful part is she says this always works for her and gives her the momentum needed to carry out the rest of the task at hand. Movement begets movement. She also keeps all technology out of the studio with her phone across the room to Minimize Distractions.
Adding it to the list. Organize your Work Space. For some reason this helps so much. It is like a metaphorical mental housekeeping as well. I always clean up before I leave the studio because the last thing I want is resistance to go into the studio the next day because of the mess.
Also adding Minimize Distractions (meaning access to your cell phone). This reader suggests that quick access to social media or the internet in general "interrupts the flow of creativity." Absolutely agree.
Another reader said Trust your Instincts and Mindset Modification were "spot on." She took her power back as an artist and said no to the self doubt that can plague so many artists. She trusts that her art will come together with her designs and her color palette. She relaxes into the creative process and enjoys the creative meditation time. Now she feels free to express her creativity. Such joy and power in her words.
So adding Enjoy the Process to the list.
Another great response came from a reader involving Be Mindful of your Daily Energy Levels. Do more difficult task when energy levels are high and mindless things when energy is lower. I am grateful I found I have a morning burst of activity. I always do my Studio Notes writing first thing in the morning when everything seems easier. I do studio work in the afternoon as it is more relaxing for me and offers a good break from the thinking/writing part of my day.
Adding this great tip to the list.
One reader suggested Clearly Define your Weekly Tasks. It may be hard to decide what those are but once you got a list, Just Do the List.
Adding in Clearly Define your Weekly Tasks. Clarity ignites action.
The list of practical tips this week is awesome. Thanks to all the readers who responded. Keep them coming! I hope that this article inspires you to try one thing to help with your Time and Focus challenges.