Getting Creative Things Done...

  1. At the beginning of each week, decide on the one big creative project that will receive your attention over the next five days.
  2. Ignore the temptation to make a small amount of progress on a large amount of projects. Creative work is hard. If you want high-quality output, you have to focus your energy.
  3. Block out time for these projects on your calendar. The increments should at least 1 hour, preferably 2 to 3. What’s important is that you treat these blocks like you would any other important appointment: the time is inviolable, and you must work around these blocks when scheduling meetings or other work.
  4. Set rules for your creative blocks. The rules should describe what is NOT allowed during creative work. For example, I have a strict ban on email during creative blocks.
  5. Focus on process, not goals. The final piece is arguably the most important: don’t set goals for your creative blocks. Creative work is not a task to be checked off a next actions list. If you decide that you need to complete a particular project by the end of a block, for example, you’re likely to either be frustrated by your lack of progress or rush out something mediocre. Instead, focus on process. This focuses your energy. High-quality results will follow naturally from this focused work. The focus on process (not goals), supports mental detours and your mind is free to follow the path most important to eventually producing high-quality output.

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