Creative or right-brained folks are generally messy, can be somewhat disorganised and more often than not, they are giant procrastinators. Or even pro-craft-inators. You know what I’m talking about. Unless of course you are the exception to the rule. But more than likely you’re not.
Getting shit done can sometimes feel daunting. Especially if it’s a task that is a necessity and maybe not so much of a passion project. It’s almost as though you’ve reverted to toddler phase. You’re stamping your feet, arms crossed in protest. Maybe you’re even on the ground throwing a full tantrum. Gosh, I really hope not. Being a grown-up really sucks sometimes.
I’m not proud to admit it, but I fall into this category. I do all the fun jobs first, putting the tedious / mundane / fruitless and sometimes even the paid jobs to the side. Until, of course, the eleventh hour when I experience heart palpitations related to deadlines. What’s worse than the fact that I do it is the fact that I know I’m doing it. And I just can’t stop myself from doing it.
I think I need one of Nike’s infamous ‘Just Do It’ posters in my office.
But because I am a repeat offender and I would like to curb this super unproductive habit, I have identified the things that have worked for me in the past and collated all the strategies in the hopes that I can help you as the same time as helping myself.
So here it goes. A creative’s guide to getting shit done…
2 minute rule – starting is always the hardest part, so give yourself 2 minutes to start something you’ve been putting off. Once you get past the 2 minute mark, you’ll generally find it easier to keep rolling with the task. There’s a little more to this rule as it comes in two parts. Read more here.
Unplug – put down your devices, stop hitting refresh on your inbox and get to the task. You have a few options here:
Turn on some tunes – it’s truly amazing what a mood-lifter music can be. It can make you happy, sad, energised, suicidal (sorry country music) and even help you to focus. Jump on a music streaming service such as Spotify and head to the ‘mood’ section to pick something to help you get the job done.
Draw/write a plan – if it’s a big project or task that you’re trying to tackle, get out some coloured markers and a large piece of paper and write out the steps you need to take. This might seem like procrastinating or delaying the inevitable, however during this process something may surface which you hadn’t thought about prior and you’ll have greater clarity by the end. And a colourful piece of paper.
Take care of your business – I’m not talking about your actual business. I’m talking about your personal (+ bodily) business. Go to the toilet. Eat a meal. Grab a glass of water. Get comfy. That way you’ll ensure that you won’t be looking for excuses to get side-tracked.
Clear your workspace – we’ve covered the fact that you can tend to get a little messy. Clearing your workspace so there isn’t a single creative temptation, will allow you to focus more easily. There’s nothing more unproductive than getting a brilliant idea for a craft project when you’re mean to be getting your accounts up to date. Guilty.
And if all else fails and you can’t get organised, get yo’self a ‘GET SHIT DONE‘ notebook. Stat. Procrastination at its finest.