If you are a creative person, you know that staying focused on one project at a time is, well, sometimes impossible. This is the bane of creativity! If you have a creative business you have to figure out how to stay focused….so how can you do that?
If you're anything like me, it is so exciting to start a new project. My creativity comes out in a bunch of different ways. Writing is one, mixed media journalling is another. I can't tell you how many pieces I've started to write, draw or color and then set aside in order to start something new.
It's not that I don't like those other things any longer, it's just that jolt you get when starting a new thing…. you know the drill! It's like the dog in the movie Up! “SQUIRREL!!”
Fortunately, there ARE things you can do to keep yourself creative AND focused!
Schedule your day and check it the night before
Knowing what you have to do before the day starts will help you get and stay on task. If you know you have meetings, appointments and calls to make all while working on the projects that define your business, you can better keep your focus while you are in the creative mode.
Be sure you schedule in time for things that tend to be the distractions
Things like email and social media. The catch is that you stick to the schedule and stop when you are supposed to stop! That is easier said than done, so you can get Internet-blocking software that actually prevents your computer from logging onto the Internet for certain time periods that you can set.
Same goes for your smart phone
It's so easy to pick it up to search something, or look up a number and get sucked in your latest game or Facebook. Just hearing those beeps and notifications can be a distraction. Turn your notifications off. There are apps you can download that will shut them off for specific periods of time then automatically turn them back on.
The early bird really does get the worm!
Research has shown that our minds are sharpest in the morning. Schedule that as your “need to be focused” time. Unless you find that you are most creative later in the day, use the morning to dig in and get your projects finished.
What helps you get and stay in creative mode?
For many people, myself included, it's music. Music does amazing things to your brain. It helps productivity and creativity. What kinds of music? Well, that depends on your preferences, but some people find that music with lyrics is more distracting than instrumental only music. I don't find that myself, but I know those who do. Find your music then let it help you keep your focus.
Get some accountability
Find someone who will keep you accountable for staying focused on the task at hand. If you can't do it yourself, and as creative people we know that's hard to do, enlist help.
If your creative business doesn't assign deadlines, have your accountability partner set them for you. Deadlines help you stay focused because you don't have time to put something off until tomorrow.
When I know that I have a call with a business friend coming up, I will often finish up things that I have told her I will. Left to my own devices I can go flying off track, but when I know I have to “report in” it makes being focused easier.
Find a dedicated space
As a creative business owner, you probably are still, or at least started, as a home based business. It's so very important that you have a dedicated space for business. As a creative person, having a separate space for your creative work can be a good idea as well.
Just having to get up and go to a separate space where you know you have to focus on your projects can help keep you focused. Keep the business side in a separate location so that part isn't a distraction when you are trying to work.
Make sure both spaces have a door that closes. That way you can shut the door on other distractions, like kids, pets or housework.
Celebrate your passion in being creative, but find the best way for you to keep yourself focused on what makes your business successful – your creations.
Color Coding Your Perfect Week
Have you ever thought, “there is NO way I can ever get everything done!” Or felt like you are constantly behind the eight ball work-wise?
There is probably a reason for that! Most creative business owners and entrepreneurs are trying to cram 20 hours of work into an 8 hour day and failing miserably!
>> Get help! Color Coding Your Perfect Week Worksheet