Another vital indicator of how likely an artist is to succeed is the ability to focus.

What are you focusing on?

What are you focusing on?

Are you  clear on your goals and do you finish what you start?

Even if you are only new to the creative journey, you will progress a lot faster if you set some markers of what you want to do.

For example if you are attending an art class, don’t just rely on the teacher to tell you what to do.  Have a clear idea of what you want to get out of your classes. The teacher’s job is to offer you choices appropriate to your skill level, however it is your passions that you need to follow, not theirs.

Now there are a few things that can stop us even if we have those goals. The first of these is:

Procrastination.  Are you a procrastinator?  Do you feel busy but do not feel like you are making any progress?  If this is the case then you are not really busy, you are just distracted and unproductive.

Do you engage in ‘busy work’ that doesn’t really take you any closer to what you are trying to achieve? Answering email is a great way to procrastinate and side track ourselves.  Is it really more important than making that ‘important’ phone call to the gallery or  the newspaper for an interview?

Do you get things done?

This Week’s Question: What areas of your life do you procrastinate in?  How could you win back some time for your self by getting this under control?

 Next Week Look For: The importance of playing in achieving success…

I was listening to a talk on time management, By Rich Schefren, this morning and was struck by something he said. He was speaking about procrastination and discussing the way some people find it hard to stick to a time table. He suggested that you write a list of fun things that you would love to do and then schedule them into your week. The idea behind this is that there is a two fold benefit:

  • One is that you get to have more fun in your life and of course when you are having fun, you often find that your creativity  kicks in. This is because you are not focusing on the problem and thus allowing the subconscious mind to find solutions for you.
  • The other benefit is that you work more efficiently as you now have less time to get your activities done in.  Also once you begin using this strategy on a regular basis , you become eager to get through your work load so you can get to the fun.  That’s not to say that you don’t enjoy  your work, but this adds another dimension to your life.

Sometimes we can snatch an hour here or there. I love to take photos and the other week after work instead of going home, I felt called to the beach 5 minutes down the road, so I went – and had great fun.  Here are the results-

Umina Beach

Before The Storm

Swan Song

Swan Song

Ebb Tide - sea foam on the beach

Ebb Tide

To assist you in thinking about these ideas a little more, here are some questions you might ask yourself-

  • If you are currently engaged in creative work are you really enjoying it?  If not what can you do about this?
  • Is there a particular part of your work that you find especially enjoyable and would it be possible to do more of this and less of something else?
  • Do you have fun at work and what are your feelings around that?  Is fun even allowed in your workplace?  Some businesses frown upon it – little realizing that this is one of the gateways to tapping into people’s creativity.
  • Have you any hobbies or leisure activities that you love to do? Are you doing them?
  • When was the last time you took a day off and spent all of it having fun? Did you feel just a little bit guilty about that?
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