Do you ever feel scattered and spread thin with too many projects?
Or feel like you have so many things you should be doing that you can’t decide which one to focus on?
And because of that, you spend more time trying to decide between projects instead of actually working on them.
All your productive time gets wasted trying to decide which thing to do so at the end of it, you haven’t done anything at all.
It’s infuriating isn’t it?!?
You want to be productive, but there are so many things you should be doing that you end up doing none of them.
What a waste.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The way creative people work is all wrong, and you’re guilty of this mindset too.
You see, as creatives, we tend to wait for inspiration to strike. We want all our ducks to line up neatly so that our muse can enter us and we can get to work.
“If I can just get inspired, I’ll get motivated to work on this project.”
Unfortunately, that just ends up with you twiddling your thumbs, checking Facebook and rearranging your studio.
Instead of feeling inspired, we feel dejected. We crave that dopamine rush of a job well-done, but we wait around for too long without taking action.
A job well-done and a natural dopamine hit of a productive day becomes just another weekday where you feel like you worked a lot, but didn’t actually get anything meaningful done.
But somehow you cling to that belief for another day, hoping inspiration will knock on your door tomorrow, naively thinking you can just order your muse off Amazon with free 2-day shipping.
So let me be the person who bursts your bubble, scissors your safety net and pushes you into the deep end.
Inspiration is overrated and motivation is meaningless.
The only thing that matters is action.
Taking action is the most powerful thing you can do to move forward.
In his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, Mark Manson talked about how you can rearrange your mindset to make Action the defining factor in our productivity.
Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike to motivate us to take action, we take action in order to feel inspired and motivated to continue.
He calls this the “Do Something Principle” and it is the #1 tip I can give you to become more productive.
You see, the worst thing you can do when you’re trying to figure out what to do is to keep figuring it out.
That’s not action, that’s procrastination.
Instead of staying stuck between two different projects, not knowing which one to tackle first, just flip a coin and start working on one of them.
In his book, Creativity Inc, Ed Catmull shares a story from Andrew Stanton, the writer and director of seminal Pixar films such as Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life, and Wall-E.
In this story, they are talking about deciding between a few different plotlines and how to find the right course of action to move a story forward, but I find this anecdote perfect for explaining how action is the only way you can find which project is the right one for you.
“Andrew is fond of saying that people need to be wrong as fast as they can. In a battle, if you’re faced with two hills and you’re unsure which one to attack, he says, the right course of action is to hurry up and choose. If you find out it’s the wrong hill, turn around and attack the other one.”
So if you realize in 30 minutes that you should really focus on the other project instead, then just switch and commit to that one instead. At worst you’ve made 30 minutes of progress to a project you might want to finish at a later date anyway.
That’s a hell of a lot better than wasting 30 minutes still trying to decide what to do.
So if you’re trying to decide how to spend your week becoming more productive, the key isn’t to wait until the answer reveals itself.
The key is to run through the door and start doing something.
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