Creative minds are full of ideas, reminders, deadlines, projects and the list goes on. How to organise all of these things?
Time management is an incredible tool to achieve our goals, complete our tasks and work on our projects without procrastinating, forgetting something on the way or going completely crazy and burnout.
All you need to do is to take some time (weekly, daily or monthly) to sit down, take all your tasks in front of you and organise them so that everyday you can make a step forward.
It is really important to schedule your time beforehand. It doesn’t matter if you do so in the morning, on Monday for the week or at the start of each month.
Having a clear schedule in front of us is really motivating, and it help a lot in achieving goals and avoid procrastination – also, you won’t have any “lost time” in your day, which could be easily filled by scrolling on social media or watching bullshit on YouTube.
Writing down what to do is like a sort of small personal challenge: I am not motivated everyday to do all my tasks, but you know, it’s satisfying to tick boxes in my do-to list, so..
I just do what I need to do; then I go to sleep feeling lighter and knowing that my list for the day is complete!
IMPORTANT!! You don’t want to forget to leave room for yourself: take time to enjoy your family and friends, to clean up your space and to take care of yourself. Cook delicious meals once in a while without being on a rush and go have that sauna!
Learn How to Say “No” to The Unnecessary
How many times did you say yes to a time-consuming task that you didn’t even want to do?
To be specific, we’re talking about all those meetings, favours, side projects (sometimes even not paid eheh, been there done that) that add up to our long list of things to do (maybe more important/urgent).
This only could lead to burnout, that’s no joke! It might happen that all your tasks and favours and gifts and meetings and clients and ideas add up.. and you have so many things to do you don’t even sleep properly! You cannot do anything at once – or at least, not well.
Of course helping others is beautiful and I also love to do that. But sometimes there’s something more important to do.. What to do? First, find balance and second, follow the next rule.
Prioritise Tasks (and pick the right time!)
It’s okay to distinguish what’s more important in your life. If you have to prepare your portfolio for an interview and make a painting for a friend.. maybe the first one comes first in the list.
What you can do is, everyday, wake up, sit down and think “What are the most important tasks of the day? When to do what?”. Might sound silly, but we usually pick a task in the wrong time of the day, making it more difficult to do it effectively.
For example: I am pretty much a late-morning person. Before lunch my focus levels are at their highest and I feel more comfortable in completing my most urgent and “heavy” tasks.
I cannot write an entire article after dinner. Instead, I am maybe able to study a bit and take notes for the next one in the evenings.
In the early mornings I really like to clean my apartment (I feel like it wakes me up a little), and my favourite time for the gym is absolutely before dinner/after work (so around 5.30/6pm). This is how my body works at its best.
Learning to understand yourself helps a lot in prioritising your tasks and in allocating them when you’re more productive and efficient. So, creatives.. it is time to understand and find your most creative time!
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Create your Space to Focus
Our brain links certain places to certain actions, easy.
For example, when you lay on bed you might start to feel sleep, but suddenly when you sit down in your desk you feel a bit more energised. When you step in the kitchen you’d like to eat something and the list goes on.
Why does it happen? This is simply because your brain is used to these actions in those places, and so links the bed to bedtime, the desk to work, the kitchen to food.
This is why it’s really important to delimit your spaces, and avoiding bringing the laptop on the bed with you. It won’t work, most of the times.
You need to find and organise your space in order to improve your creativity and productivity, making it easier for your brain to not be distracted from other thoughts that might be related to food, rest and other activities (video games, endless social media scrolling etc.)
Focus on One Thing at a Time (multitasking is not our thing..)
We struggle to focus properly on lots of things at a time, it’s a fact. That’s why multitasking, in the long term, never works.
I have a perfect example for this: I was trying to write this article while eating, watching a movie and working in my 9-5. How is my brain supposed to focus and find words while overloaded with these many other things? No way.
Right now I am standing in front of my desk, without my headphones on, only listening what my mind has to say and the noise of the cars outside my apartment. I can immediately feel the difference in my focus and my mind is more clear and able to organise and arrange my thoughts.
Working on only one task at a time might sound like the slowest way to go – instead, fully focusing on your tasks will make you handle them more fast and efficiently, optimising your time and energy and wasting way less time.
Pro tip: Silence is the best thing for me to focus, especially to write. However, sometimes, silence feels.. too silent (makes sense, right?). In those cases, I would aim for a jazz/ambient playlist without any words. I feel like sometimes a neutral background helps me with my mood and with following my flow of thoughts. Highly recommended if you struggle to focus!
Immediately Note Down Ideas and Move On
It happens many time to have new inputs or ideas while working on something completely different. Creatives and artists can understand the struggle.
The first thing you might want to do is to jump on the new idea you had to avoid forgetting it. Unfortunately, this will only distract you and make you do two things together – which is not really good, as we have already learned in the previous chapter.
Instead, writing every idea down on your phone’s notes or on a piece of paper as soon as it comes into your mind, could really help to not forget your new idea and completing all your tasks properly! It’s a win-win situation basically.
Now we want to hear from you! How do you schedule your time and tasks? Do you have any other tips that you’d like to share?
Leave a comment dropping your suggestions to inspire and get inspired by each other!
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