Tips for Tackling Your Ideas

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Remaining productive when feeling creative can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming. We have so many ideas for a plethora of projects that it can leave us feeling defeated and, consequently – unproductive.

When we start to feel unproductive, it’s hard to shake the feeling that we are losing those incredible ideas we have. It’s a never-ending cycle of “I need to be more productive, but I don’t have the energy….but I also don’t want to miss my window of opportunity”.

It’s important to keep in mind that you will never “lose” a great idea, because it’s always going to be a part of you. Especially if you keep an idea journal, you can always reference your ideas and plans at a later date. Just because you haven’t gotten around to it yet—doesn’t mean you won’t ever get around to it. Keep writing in that journal, and when the right time arrives for you to work on a project—you will.

Try not to get too stressed and caught up in immediate completion. Artistry takes time. 

When dealing with something like wanting to start too many projects, it’s important to take small steps so we can avoid overwhelming ourselves. Here are a few suggestions for tackling this problem:

  1. Get (or make) a planner. Working with a planner and a schedule will help you out tremendously. This way, you can dedicate specific times to specific creative projects. Additionally, setting up a Content Schedule for yourself can be beneficial in making sure you are on top of your work and your creative content. While it can sometimes be really difficult to sit down and physically do it, having that schedule and a community to post to keeps you accountable (check out our blog post Building Your Online Community for suggestions on how to do this). Which leads us to our next tip:
  2. Have a community (or a person) that keeps you accountable. Maybe this means collaborating with someone on a project in order to keep yourself on a schedule. Having to check in with people on a consistent basis can keep you from getting too overwhelmed by how many projects you have ideas for. You can stop focusing on the macro—and focus on the micro. Just take it step-by-step, project-by-project. Maybe this can additionally mean relying on your online community for back up. If you are feeling stuck or unmotivated, it can be incredibly beneficial to reach out when you need a gentle push from others. 
  3. Find something that never ceases to inspire you, and use that as a tool to propel you into action. Do you have a certain podcast that motivates you every time you listen to it? Or a certain playlist? Or maybe it’s a book, a work of art, or an artist that consistently is able to inspire you to spring forward and start working. Maybe it’s as simple as looking up inspirational quotes online. Other times, it’s a little more complicated and you need to listen to one of your favorite podcasts to take real creative action. Find the things that inspire you and motivate you, make a list of those, and reference them whenever you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed.  
  4. Create an idea journal and organize it. It’s one thing to write down ideas all willy-nilly—and it’s another to keep them organized. Don’t allow yourself to get completely overwhelmed by your notes because they aren’t categorized in a way that works for you.
    • Suggestions on how to organize your idea journal:
      • Section 1: List of things that inspire you to create
      • Section 2: Ideas for small-scale projects
      • Section 3: Ideas for medium-scale projects
      • Section 4: Ideas for large-scale projects
    • By keeping everything organized and separated by size, it will help you keep track of ideas in a more efficient way. This system will also allow you to pull reference for projects depending on what your mood is, and how much time/energy you have.

We hope this helps provide you with a jumping-off point for ways you can keep overwhelming feelings about tackling your ideas at bay. 

We would also like to stress that right now, it’s really important to be aware of your mental health. Do not push yourself to create if you are legitimately feeling overwhelmed and burnt out – a pandemic is not the time for a “productivity contest”. If you need, take some time for yourself, and check out our Wellness section for more tips on how to do that.

People deal with stress in different ways. Some need to keep themselves busy, some need more time to themselves. Find your own balance, and use these tips as a way to help manage your ideas and minimize the amount of overwhelm.

Stay well.


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