The photo is food writer and TV show host Nigella Lawson in her London library. She is author of multiple books and, apparently, a dedicated reader.
What can we do to be more engaged and prolific in our creative thinking and work?
Author and mentor Julia McCutchen shares a number of ideas in her article below.
At the end of the article, see her profile with links to her book and site, as well as to her presentation on “Creative Awakening and Conscious Writing.”
5 Tips for Boosting Your Creative Productivity
Do you sometimes feel that you’ve got too many ideas and wonder how you’ll ever get them all done? If so, you’re not alone.
Most creative people work on a number of projects simultaneously. And big projects come together from a whole host of smaller tasks.
Writers often have different types of writing (book, blog, fiction, non-fiction) as well as related tasks (research, reflecting, connecting with readers) all in the mix at once.
However creatively inspired you are, at times it can be challenging to keep all of your creative plates spinning and make progress at a pace that works for you and the projects you are working on.
So it’s important to apply your creative energy consciously so that your essential projects, which may be the most creatively challenging, don’t become sidelined because smaller or less demanding tasks are faster to complete.
Fortunately, experience reveals that certain techniques genuinely make a difference to creative productivity. Here are 5 strategies you can apply straight away that will shift your creative output onto new levels:
1. Make conscious choices about genuine priorities.
When faced with the array of possibilities that are part of any creative project, pause before diving in and ask yourself this question: “If I only do a maximum of three creative tasks today, what should they be?”
Write your answers down and stick to what you’ve decided. Even better, make this decision the night before and dive straight in first thing in the morning before anything else.
2. Do the most important or most challenging task first.
Once you have your list of creative priorities for the day, avoid the seduction of starting with the easiest one. At times, the quick fix of doing something you know you can polish off at speed can boost your confidence to tackle a task that feels like more of a stretch.
But this approach can also be a subtle form of resistance that sometimes means you procrastinate over important tasks for days, weeks or even months.
3. Be present and focus fully on one project at a time.
Multi-tasking is so “last era”! Turn off all distractions, remove yourself from environments where you are likely to be interrupted, and laser in on whatever you’re doing.
Your single focus doesn’t need to be narrow to be effective. Find the balance between targeted and open to all possibilities relating to whatever you’re working on.
4. Take regular breaks to recharge.
When you are in the flow, naturally you need to go with it – and stay with it – to make the most of the creative energy flowing through you.
Sometimes this will take you away from your usual rhythm such as having a late lunch because you need to finish the chapter that’s coming together at last.
However, don’t get locked in if it feels like you’re really struggling. Have the confidence to stop, go for a walk, rest, listen to some music – whatever you need to recharge your creative core.
5. Enjoy the process.
When you enjoy something, “feel good hormones” such as serotonin and melatonin are released in your body. Nature has provided us with a powerful biological boost that can be harnessed to support you to keep your creative momentum going.
This benefit alone can be responsible for creatively productive careers that last for decades. If you’re not enjoying yourself, shift your mindset or stop and do something else!
Q4U: How do you manage your creative productivity? Share your comments on our tips and your own experience below.
© Julia McCutchen 2016. All Rights Reserved. Republished here with permission.
Julia McCutchen is an intuitive creator, writer and mentor who guides people to share their unique gifts through creating, writing and living from a conscious and vibrant connection to Truth.
A former international publisher, Julia experienced a life-changing accident in 1999 which triggered a series of major quantum leaps in her spiritual awakening.
She subsequently developed a tried and tested holistic approach to access the present and aligned state required for original creative expression in all areas of life, especially writing.
She is the founder and creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW) and the author of two books including Conscious Writing: Discover Your True Voice Through Mindfulness and More (Hay House).
For more articles, information and a free video series visit her site:IACCW.com.
Julia McCutchen is one of the many authors, coaches and teachers at the Hay House World Summit, where you can sign up to hear her interview on “Creative Awakening and Conscious Writing”– there are free presentations through May 26, 2016; recording packages available during and after.
~~~~~About Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the TalentDevelop and Creative Mind series of sites, and author of books including Developing Multiple Talents: The personal side of creative expression [link to book site with excerpts.] ~ ~ Some excerpts from The Creative Mind are included in his newsletter CreativeLife. ~ ~