Ali Edwards newsletter had this to say ... TAKE THE FIRST STEP
This past weekend my new 12-week online workshop Hello Story opened for registration and I'm knee-deep in the process of creating content: making layouts, writing, filming, designing handouts, choosing products, and thinking (always thinking).
There is so much darn thinking that goes into this process. My brain is constantly in motion and well, it can be exhausting. How can I make this work with this? What makes the most sense for this project? Is this idea clear? How do I show this on video? How do I make this idea a reality? Is this going to be enough? How does this handout look? How can I make it better/clearer/more fun? What am I missing? Is this too much?
Here's the deal: sometimes I get stuck in the thinking phase and it becomes over-thinking. Hello procrastination. Sound familiar?
There's a fine line between the sort of thinking/planning/percolating that is necessary for an idea to develop and procrastination. Sometimes all that thinking can be more than a little paralyzing.
Here's what I'm re-learning this week:
- Take the first step (also known as "get out of your head").
- And then take the next step.
- Things get done (and habits are created) in little chunks of time and by doing the next thing.
- All that thinking is a necessary part of the creative process, but without action (and the next step) it just lives in your head.
- Design a plan or an outline for the project. Know what your next step is (write your journaling, print your photos, buy supplies) - or be willing to simply start in the middle as a way to take action, gain momentum and get out of the thinking phase. If you don't have a plan make that your first action item.
- Have a notebook/sheet of paper/word doc for jotting down all your ideas related to the project. Those ideas that are rattling around in your head (and distracting you from taking actual action) are easily lost if not documented along the way (at least that is the truth for me).
- Turn up the music really loud and get away from the internet.
- Clean up your space. Be careful with this one - cleaning up your space can be a method of procrastination or it can simply be a step in getting ready to make stuff. Watch yourself and be mindful of whether this is actually action or simply a way to drag it out. For me I can tell when I'm dragging it out when cleaning off my workspace turns into a whole office clean-up.
- Break action items down into smaller tasks that fit your schedule and remember that there are many tasks that really only need a few minutes and those few minutes add up over time.
- Embrace good enough. This is one of my biggest challenges for getting started. Once I'm on my way one of the things I love most are those happy accidents and the discoveries that come from taking action - from starting and following through and finding outcomes I didn't expect that teach me so many things about the creative process and about myself.
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This message REALLY resonated with me and gave me the inspiration to "get out of my head" and get moving.
So here I go ....
Ali's advice ~ Design a plan or an outline for the project.
What I did ... When I was sorting out the photos to print for my Wedding Album Project ... I wrote lots of notes so I wouldn't forget which photos I wanted to use where and some title ideas.
Ali's advice ~ Clean up your space. Be careful with this one - cleaning up your space can be a method of procrastination or it can simply be a step in getting ready to make stuff.
What I did ... This is my scrap area at 17h30 on 9 May 2013.
|The whole room|
|Yes!!! This is what my desk looked like!!!|
- PaperS sorted into their trays;
- Trays labelled;
- Punches packed away;
- Clear boxes on the floor put away safely for sorting when I am finished with the Wedding Album project;
- Empty albums packed in the study with the other albums (until I get my fancy built in unit for all my stuff);
- Some stuff moved around to make using it easier.
Whenever I give people advice on doing a project ... I always suggest packing away everything except the project you are working on ... that way it keeps distractions at bay. I have taken my own advice and, thanks to Ali Edwards, I am now ready and raring to go!!! Watch this space for the pages I create.