Five Ways to Improve Productivity in Your Artistic Practice
Much like creativity, productivity can be an elusive force that many creative people struggle with. Unlike creativity, however, you can improve your productivity though routine and other academic approaches.
5 Ways to Improve Productivity in your Artistic Practice
Start your projects early by preparing your workspace and materials in advance. When you have a clean area that is ready to go, you will spend less time procrastinating the beginning or continuation of your work. Planning your work can include: cutting and measuring materials to have “en place” when your project starts; cleaning all surfaces and in your workshop or removing sawdust; buying everything you need at the hardware store in advance to avoid stopping your project to make a “quick run to the store”. We all know that these “quick runs” are never actually quick because the time it takes your brain to get caught up after interrupting your task for a supply run can kill your motivation and ruin your productive streak.
Organize your project into steps. If you are sewing a garment for instance, you should really organize the process into steps because there will be certain parts of your production that must wait until other areas are finished. You may find yourself needing to undo what you have already completed because you failed to organize the work process properly. Organizing can save you an immense amount of time in the long run, and it will also keep your productivity levels high because you can advance through the process with more ease.
One of the tips I learned from experience when completing projects is to use visual diagrams in the form of sketches. Certain projects are spatially complex, and require measurements or logistical calculations. The best method I have found to dealing with these complexities is to draw a basic sketch that helps my brain to better communicate my idea to myself.
It seems simple, but there are many times where I have been caught by a lack of planning or sketching and end up struggling to place a large object that will not bend, into the back of my car that ONLY accommodates things that will bend. This also works when doing things like redecorating or staging a home. Make a sketch of what are trying to accomplish, and reality will show you whether it is possible or not. You will be more productive with your time if you do not waste it trying to make square objects fit into circular holes.
Ask for help
When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. If it is a matter of delegating certain tasks to lighten your own load, then relinquish your control and give those tasks away. You don’t have to be intricately involved in every aspect of a project to consider it your own. Your productivity will suffer if you micromanage in areas that someone else can easily help you with. It is a much better strategy to focus your talents on areas where you excel, and to outsource the areas where you don’t.
My mind often goes to the now ancient online saying: “Post pics or it didn’t happen”. Many people will take copious photos of meaningless moments of their lives to post online; however, those same people often shy away from sharing photos of passion projects that they have been working hard on for months. Why? It is likely because the passion project they refuse to share with the world is very dear to them, and they are suffering from some level of insecurity about it.
Here is the thing: if you don’t post the photos of the progress of your passion project, then how will you know it is happening? Progress photos show a story from inception to completion. By showing your process you are proving to yourself and to others that this is something that is meaningful to you as a person who has made the decision to pursue their dreams. In turn, this will help to motivate you to push further toward completion, therefore driving your productivity to new heights.
Photos of your progress also help to improve your productivity because you are able to see areas where you would do things differently the next time. When that next occasion comes, you can zone in on it like a laser and crush it before moving on to your next passion project.
I think that there are many ways to improve your productivity, so this is a topic I would like to revisit again soon. Are there any strategies that you think belong on this list? Leave your answer in the comments below, and thank you for stopping by.