MavK

Art and Creativity Coaching Articles

From Start to Finish – 5 Tips to Get There!

From Start to Finish - 5 Tips to Get There

As a creative person, I often get distracted by all the shiny-shiny that I see around me, by which I mean the potential creative projects that I want to dive into: writing, making jewellery, doing sketches, painting or doing textile art… My shiny-shiny-eyed approach, however, can often turn me into a dazzled bunny sitting in front of that fearsome predator and scavenger of creative energy – PROCRASTINATION – frozen, emotionally vulnerable and certainly not going anywhere fast!

Too many projects on the go can either make you feel like a creative powerhouse or overwhelmed and stuck.

Studies have shown that starting and finishing projects boost our serotonin levels which make us feel good. Sadly this can lead to “serial starts” as starting something is inordinately easier to do than to follow-through and finish what we have started.

That path between starting and finishing can feel like a no-man’s land, a slog or an unending mountain to climb. Ultimately we all want to finish what we start so the question is how to traverse the land in between and maintain momentum?

I’ve come up with 5 practical tips to help you get from start to finish!

  1. Commit to a ridiculously easy amount of time on your project every day. Think 30 minutes or even 5 minutes. The key words are “every day” and the point is to develop daily consistency.
  1. Find an accountability partner, someone who truly cares about you and your creative success. Hold yourself accountable to them with daily or weekly check-ins on your progress.
  1. Empty your mind of other things. Sometimes mental clutter, a preoccupation with other things (relating to any part of your life) can shunt your creativity to the background. Take a piece of paper and write down everything that is on your mind. This is not about finding solutions or judging your brain-dumping, this is an exorcism onto paper to free up your mind.
  1. Remember those things that inspired you to start the project! Can you represent that inspiration with images and objects as part of either a vision board or a vision box? Most people will be familiar with a vision board where you cut and paste all the things (colours, textures, patterns, photos, snippets of text) associated with your initial vision onto a board or piece of paper. A vision box is the same except that you take a shoe box (or other box) and fill it with 3D objects associated with your vision (postcards, fabric, crystals, pastel crayons, ornaments). Before starting your committed time as per No. 1, look at your board or in your box and reinvigorate your inspiration!
  1. Change up your routine and if possible your location for creating. A change really is as good as a rest. A place can too easily become associated with blockages, procrastination or humdrum creativity (oxymoron alert!); by changing your location or the time at which you create, you can come to it with fresh eyes and infuse it with new energy.

What new projects have you started recently? In addition to the tips above, can you think of TWO other things that might help you to get from start to finish? Share one in the comments below … you never know who you might inspire and by putting it out there, you are also making  a personal commitment to yourself! Go for it! The START begins now!

©Mav Kühn 2016

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