As creatives we usually have no shortage of ideas. This is definitely true for me. I never have artist’s block. What I experience is feeling overwhelmed by ideas and not being able to pick a focus and direction.
Gain focus with my Creative Ideas planning worksheet – Download it in my Etsy shop here.
Before my blog and my creative resolution, I had many unfinished projects lying around. Having the commitment of this blog helped me learn to finish projects. In doing this, I also learned how motivating a sense of accomplishment is! It didn’t really matter what the final result was. What mattered was that I had an idea and executed it to completion. Armed with the learning experience of that finished project, I could decide on the next one.
Now that I’m a bit obsessed with accomplishing things, feeling overwhelmed by a huge list of ideas is very unsettling. This is what I typically do to work through too many ideas.
1. Write down every idea. On one or two pages, write down each idea on a line, one after another. Just getting them out of my head is a bit of a relief.
2. Pause for a moment, drink a coffee, and then read through the list.
3. Prioritize the items on the list. A book I loved – Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – recommends labeling items as A, B, and C. A is the highest priority.
4. Number the A’s. Once the items are assigned A B or C, number the projects labeled A (priority). On a new page write the highest ranked A items, leaving several lines underneath each project. Write a few tasks necessary for this project under the project. This doesn’t have to include every task to complete the project, just the next few steps.
5. Write a To Do list. Because I typically have a few projects going on at once, I take the top tasks under the priority items and create a To Do list.
6. Pick one To Do list item and act on it and complete it.
7. Celebrate the completion of a task by checking it off the list.
8. Move on to the next item on the To Do list. Complete all the items on the list.
9. Create a new To Do list. Once the original to do list is completed, go back to the task lists under the priority projects and use some of the remaining tasks to create another To Do list.
10. Repeat creating To Do lists (and accomplishing the items on them) until the priority projects are completed.
11. Go back to the idea list, once the priority projects are completed. Read through and see if the A B C ratings you gave the remaining projects still apply. Adjust as needed and then go back and repeat steps 4 – 11. Some projects on your idea list will cease to interest you. Cross them off when that happens.
This process gives my mind clarity and then I can focus. I designed a Creative Ideas Worksheet that’s pretty and easy to use! Download it in my Etsy shop here.
Learn more about my new book Creative Exploration: A Six Week Process for Introducing Regular Creativity into your Life by clicking here.
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