5 Tips for Productivity and Creativity
Think about the "Looking Glass" mirror of Alice in Wonderland - but instead of looking at your own situation of multi-tasking in a negative and confusing state of never getting things done - turn it around into something positive where "Through the Looking Glass" reflects a new meaning ~ a different perspective ~ and a new bottom line meaning that says...
If you are more productive, you will have more time to be creative!
Yes, if we didn't need to earn a living, put food on the table, gas in the car, pay the rent/mortgage/bills, put clothes on our back, shoes on our feet, in addition to everyday housekeeping, cooking, children, fur babies, parents, relatives...and other things that "pop" up that need your attention, love, care and/or worry...well does it make you wonder...I mean can you imagine a world where there were no worries? NAH...Me either - and to be honest if we didn't have the worries, I'm not sure if we would appreciate those special moments in time with our favorite people, a sunrise or sunset, a promotion, a feather in the cap, the beauty of the blue skies and flowers, or simply having that blessed hour to do something to sooth our inner souls. For me...that means carving out time to be creative. But "Creativity" is not just about my business of jewelry designing and ART tiles...it's about so much more in daily living that has a direct impact on my happiness and how I live my life. So by now you're probably asking...so Janice - what are your tips??? Well - I'm not perfect...some days and weeks go much better than others - but I can guarantee you that if you make small efforts in doing any of these...those "little bits" will begin to make a difference - and definitely add up over time. And the more you can do these things...the more you will feel accomplishment and that sense of being true to yourself. So here goes...my FIVE tips for you to increase your productivity and creativity (in no particular order)! Drum roll please...
#1 - TIME...and controlling the Social Media Beasts...otherwise known as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, Surfing on the Internet (and the list goes on...) - it's a major distraction and one big time sucker. However, notice I said CONTROL and not "eliminate" - this is about taking a step back and thinking objectively...looking at your own habits in a different perspective and analyzing what you can do to better control your own personal distractions that impede your progress and productivity. Controlling distractions is SO important to your health and happiness because at the end of the day...the week...the month... - we all deserve time off...to read, be artistic/creative, express ourselves, and simply to allow time for our inner souls to be refreshed and rejuvinated. So my biggest TIP is to set specific times for your e-Socializing - and if needed set a timer in order to stick to it! If you need to close your door, shut down your internet browsers, email & IM...and set your cell phone to receive only certain texts from family members in the event of an emergency - do it along with anything else you can do so you're not tempted by distractions". You CAN do this - one hour at a time to start...
#2 - Stop multitasking - period. Woman have this knack - and some men do too...however generally speaking, all multitasking does is get you in a state of "many things left uncompleted". One of my favorite lines in regard to my desk and studio, is it's an "organized mess". Well, guess what? I still have some of these messes as you can see - but I've gotten a LOT better at focusing on ONE thing at a time and getting it done. Did you know that studies show if you multi-task...your IQ drops? And because of that your brain function slows down...your thoughts get kind of fuzzy and you can't process things clearly...and where do you think that leaves us? Well...even more susceptible to being "distracted"! So another big tip I have here is at any given time, encourage yourself to FOCUS on that ONE thing and get it done. Easier said than done I know...but just remember if you want to be productive and get things accomplished - the only way to do it - IS one thing at a time. How you ask? Well that leads right into #3..."The Plan"
#3 - "Plan your work...work your plan" - how often have you heard this old sage advice? My old District Manager (from when I worked Marketing/Education for JoAnn's) would always remind me about this when I would start getting frazzled with all that I had to do. But if you take it to heart and do this on a daily basis, I can almost guarantee, that you will start seeing results and feeling them too! Planning though is KEY...but a special warning to take to heart...goals come in many forms and you need to break down those very big ones. So although the need to jot down your BIG goals is an important one - it's actually more important to break down those big goals into smaller and more manageable tasks - this is ESSENTIAL to your success. So for instance my own "Updating my Website" breaks down into manageable "to-do's" and specific tasks - (Updating my Store categories, photos, About Me page, listing new products, etc.) and depending on the time needed for each task, they all get assigned a specific time frame for completion within my "Plan your work...work your plan" list. My point in all of this - is to come up with your BIG GOALS, then break them down bit by bit - creating "your plan" that is realistic and manageable...all the way down to the tiniest detail. THEN you start at the bottom and work you way up to that BIG one...
#5 - Take TIME to get yourself picked up, cleaned up and organized in a way that work within your habits (to see my transition from Home Office to my Design Studio & Office - click on the picture above) and you'll see some of the ways I've organized "like" things together - as well as, how I organized to work WITH my habits versus trying to teach this old dog new tricks ;)...the term "everything has a place is only true if you are staying true to the way you work, design and be creative. Remember, when you get busy EXPECT your office and work area to become that Creative MESS...but be prepared to "cleanup" and set things back the way you had them when you have completed your orders and design tasks.
BONUS...fact is - if you start doing these tiny little 5 things...you will be more productive and your mind will feel a bit more free - which makes you ultimately more relaxed...which allows you to breathe in and take in your surroundings - often getting inspired to be creative in the medium or craft of your choice. Phewwww...are you seeing the pattern here? Are you beginning to see the benefits to these TIPS? Over the past several months, I've made changes myself - and the biggest perk for me is that I now have more freedom and time during the evening and weekend hours to be "off" from my work and business - refueling my energy and mind...along with allowing myself special artistic time to simply "be"
"Through the Looking Glass" was one of those rejuvinating times I was able to take in my personal journey of becoming more productive and creative. The Vintaj Filigree was what I call "handsewn" with wire and Swarovski Crystals - and it looks so gorgeous sparkling in the light in any of my windows. My creation was recently published in the Bead Trends October 2012 edition...(Bead Trends staff is ALWAYS amazing with their photography)! The fun part about this piece is that my inspiration was actually two fold - first...that I was inspired by all of my thoughts and tips from above...and knowing that many of us struggle with finding time to balance our home life, jobs, and creativity ~ and second...my front door which never fails to bring me inspiration depending on the weather, landscape, and time of year...this is just one section of the sidelight panel :)
And just so you know...part of my own "getting more productive" also includes making time to post more regularly here on my Blog and dedicate more time to all my Jewelry hobbyists and professionals by including the addition of more TIPS, TUTORIALS, and product/technique info as well. So farewell til next time...leaving you with the bi-product of one of my creative rejuvination time - first photo below is a picture I took on recent visit to my local State Park...the photo below that is an inspiration Watercolor painting I created and then digitized into a screensaver for myself...with the plan to release some limited edition ART tiles featuring portions of this painting :)
Photo I took early October at Rocks State Park, MD
My Watercolor painting digitized into a screensaver...
I thoroughly enjoy gaining an hour every Fall! Today I celebrated that fact by going to bed extremely late last night...slept in til 8:30 (the new time) and stayed in my PJs til 2pm (the new time) - doing that enabled me to have some uninterrupted time to finish my design work on our Christmas cards and get them ordered for printing...AND - I also was able to undecorate from Halloween and bring out the Turkeys! My daughter is home from College and baked...so I'm currently looking forward to having a Molasses Cookie with a very large mug of Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin coffee! SO...to celebrate daylight savings time...I'm doing another POWERHOUSE discount in my ETSY store...here's the secret code...
Simply enter in the promotion code box at Etsy checkout
to receive 30% off your entire purchase
Valid through 11/5/12!
Have a great upcoming week everyone!