How to Stay Creative in an Ever-Distracting World
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely stumbled here from a not-too-far-off place, searching online about creative works, people, or just web design in general. Heck, you may have Googled “Paul Laux,” and found yourself here.
What do I know?
That being said, you may think this is a strange title for a blog about being creative – and ways to advance. But it really isn’t. Because as I have noticed over the past year or so, it can be weirdly difficult to keep the brain juices moving in a world where there are so many ways to make things. It almost seems as if there are too many ways.
Canva, Sprout, the ENTIRE Adobe suite – it really can be incredibly overwhelming to have so many options digitally, not even including the more physical arts such as painting. Sometimes, it feels like I am doing so much, without doing anything at all – the projects piling up on my
So how do you stay creative in this day and age? Let me tell you what I try to do
Prioritize Your Projects
More than likely, you have about a million projects in your head, or maybe even worked on. So first of all, don’t do that – or try not to…at the very least.
When trying to get a piece out there, whether it be writing content, a graphic, photograph, whatever – the more you have going on, the more likely you’re going to feel scatter-brained. And in some cases, it can lease to what I like to call “project bleed-over,” and can trick you into combining elements into other things you’re working on. And besides all this, having your head in too many spaces thins out the capacity you have to put towards something you want to come out well. The best way to prioritize is to ask yourself these questions:
- What project do I want out next?
- Is this the most important piece I have going right now?
- Is this something that should be put aside for now?
- What stage am I in with this project?
- Do I even have a good idea here?
Trust me when I tell you, simply going through a basic set of questions will very much assist you in planning out your work, and force you to realize what you need to be focusing on.
Come Up With a Plan
Alright, so you now know what you want to do, or at the very least, work on. Perfect. But now comes the really hard part.
Planning when you’re going to do it.
When trying to keep things moving, one of the best ways I have been able to accomplish this has been through planning, nearly down to the minute, of when I am going to work. This includes start and ends times, and even when I want to take a break.
For some, regimenting your work this much isn’t helpful – I get that. But I think it is essential for anyone working on a creative project to have a realistic idea of when things get done, as there is no better motivation than a deadline.
That being said, if your schedule isn’t working – change it! Experiment times of the day and night when getting work done, and see where you fit things in best.
Let Go of the Bad Days
Remember, no matter how hard you work, no matter how great your idea is, there are going to be days when things just aren’t coming together. Whether the motivation just isn’t there, or it feels like you’ve hit a wall with ideas.
When this happens, know that it’s okay to let the bad days go – in fact, it’s better to. Put the pen down, take a breather, and regroup. Sometimes simply stepping back for a day or so on a project is all it takes to get moving again, mentally.
Publish It Already!
After all, the point of doing something creative is to get it out there, right? Then DO it.
I can’t even say how many times, I have made something I loved, only to shelve it because of time, or just plain old forgetting about it. But don’t let that happen!
For some, putting out work they aren’t 100% proud of isn’t their thing, and I understand that. But there IS something to be said about the quantity of work you produce, as even feedback on things you aren’t sure about can move you forward in a direction you haven’t seen yourself.
One great way to do this is to create a subdomain to host your work. Heck, take it to the next level and talk about your throughs on it, why you’re not loving it, and ask for ideas. Because you never know what the community may come up with!
Staying creative with so many distractions around can feel nearly impossible – and a feat when you finally get some work done. Trust me, I have been there, and continue to be there.
But if you take your time, prioritize, and focus on a piece, what you produce will be more improved than anything you could have imagined.