A Simple Strategy for Getting Your Dream Project Done
Many people have jobs and families and all the minutia of life to take care of before they can get around to working on their art or business idea. I don’t know about you, but most times if something isn’t in the top three of my To-Do list, it doesn’t happen.
I’ve written quite a bit about validating your dreams, and your God-Given right to spend at least some (if not most) of your time on this planet doing what is most meaningful to you, regardless of what anybody else may think. So now it’s time to move on to the practical aspects of making your dream a reality.
My proposal is very simple: Commit to one hour a day, or one full day a week (depending on your schedule and personality) to work on your creative project until it’s completed to your satisfaction.
What works best for me is to schedule my hour first thing in the morning. I get up, take the dogs out to do their business (5 minutes), make my tea (10 minutes) and sit down to work. I don’t check email, I don’t read the news, I don’t go on social media or turn on the TV. Oh no, no, no. That way lies destruction. In fact, if you feel you may be prone to stray, I recommend having your project open on the computer so it is the first thing you see… and viola!
Before you know it, you’ll be reading it over, then tinkering, then jotting down new ideas (Even if your project doesn’t involve a computer, the same principle applies – have it out where you can see it first thing.)
Believe it or not, when we are still half-asleep our brains are primed for creativity. We tend to remember our dreams, and can access all that fertile, subconscious material. Also, in that dreamy state, our attention tends to be hooked by the first really interesting thing we see, so make sure it’s your project and not facebook, email or (god forbid) morning TV shows.
If you are a night owl, or want to work on your lunch break, just adapt this strategy accordingly. If you work long hours or absolutely need a long chunk of time to get in the groove, choose one of your days off to sequester yourself. The key is to know yourself, choose a routine and then stick to it until it becomes automatic. Habit can be your friend.
Maybe you think one hour a day isn’t enough to get your project done as fast you’d like, and maybe that’s true, but it beats the hell out of zero hours a day. Right? If your schedule permits, you can always do both one hour a day AND one full day per week (or more). But trying to take on too much too soon can cause people to give up entirely (ah, the ways the evil mind can trick us). If you do more, that’s a bonus. Buy yourself an ice cream or shot of tequila (or both).
Whatever you do, don’t waste time waiting for inspiration to strike. If you are serious about your project, make a regular time and space for it to happen. Announce it to your family, friends, roommates etc., and most of all to yourself. Then let nothing short of death, fire, war, or the Blue Man Group peering in your windows stop you from keeping that minimum commitment. No excuses!
It may be hard at first. Scary as hell. You may stare at the blank screen or canvas (or robot) but after a few hours (or days if you’re stubborn) you’ll get bored. And then you WILL create, my friend. Oh yes, you will.