We are slightly obsessed with productivity. That might be unhealthy. But also we need to get work done and often we are working against ourselves. I hope these tips help you.
Photo by Jana Early.
I can't be the first person to tell you that you need to have goals. Your goals need to be specific and attainable. Grab onto a large goal and then break it into steps (small goals).
>I need to finish this commission (big goal)
>Today, I need to work on the XYZ (don't even say you have to finish XYZ today, that might still be unattainable goal and you'll lose those good vibes if you fail.
>But maybe saying "finish XYZ by the end of the week" will be attainable. (and you'll get a mood boost if you finish early).
Breaking everything into smaller attainable steps will help you stay motivated and positive. Set yourself up for success, not failure. You're the boss.
On that note, you're the boss. Yes, you need to get into the studio no matter what and make the art. But we've all had days where the hand and the eye didn't want to work together. You can be productive in other ways. But maybe working on "the" art isn't it. You don't want to recklessly make mistakes you'll have to fix later.
Be aware of when this line of thinking becomes procrastination. But it's also okay to recognize that you need to work on something else that day.
Set the mood. Get yourself ready to work. For me, I need to be fed and caffeinated. I also like to make it smell good via candles or essential oil diffuser.
Making sure things are straightened up and aesthetically pleasing are also super valuable.
Lastly, noise. Do you like working in silence? Do you work better with background noise?
Whether it's nature sounds, white noise, audiobooks, music or a favorite show-- make sure it helps keep you focused, not distracted.
Breaks are crucial. You're not a robot. Your back might hurt, you might think of a time urgent email you need to send. But most importantly, your eyes need to take a break from the work.
When you come back you will see your progress more clearly, which will encourage you and also help you adjust mistakes.
Keeping your studio both professional and fun, flexible and structured is not easy. But we have to be excited to get into the studio otherwise it will show in our work or we will quit.
I'm not always excited to do the work. But there are victories and good times. Like anything worth doing, it's hard. But it helps when I focus on the good things. And it helps to use these tips to make work as enjoyable as possible which in the end will make that time more productive.