Are you one of those people who have always so many ideas on their minds? If so, welcome to the club! Having so many ideas is better then having none, obviously. But it often comes with a confusion what to focus on first, and sometimes with a side effect of unproductivity.
Before you carry on reading further, let me say this: Even though this post is tailored to look at this topic from an artist’s perspective, you can also apply the tips listed below into your life, when your mind is overloaded with so many tasks to do, when you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin.
So, just the other day I was excited about a lovely project I’m currently working on and thinking how to make it even better. Suddenly, just a two minutes later, while straightening my hair in the bathroom, another two ideas flew into my consciousness about something completely different. I had to immediately get a pen and paper and write them down. Then, in the next few hours, I didn’t even focus on the project I was so excited just a few minutes ago, but kept it aside until the following morning. I was trying to produce something new, completely from scratch, which left me feeling ‘scattered’, and in the end, unproductive. Finally, I kept these ideas noted down and didn’t come back to them since. ‘What I waste of time…’ I thought. And this is one of the burdens I often have to deal with, because my mind is just too busy, having too many ideas, jumping from one place to another, and as a result of this, leaves so many unfinished projects on my plate. At the same time, I’m grateful. I’d rather have too many ideas then none at all, of course.
And here is another thing. If you are an artist or a creative, you may agree that the inspiration often pays you a visit at the most unexpected times. Many times, it comes in the moments when you are not really ‘ready’ for it and have a chance to document it quickly. An inspiration often comes at night, when you feel too tired to get up and write it down. So many times, I had to force myself out of bed to write my ideas down. The ideas can also come when you are driving, in the middle of meetings and the list can go on.
The bottom line is this:
Having so many ideas can sometimes be confusing, it can keep you unproductive and even lead to procrastinating on some really great projects, and lots of them end up unfinished.
So how do you prioritise what to focus on? Here are a few suggestions I often apply into my life when a big surge of ideas come to me all at the same time.
1) Writing it all down
Every time my mind is overflowing with thoughts and ideas, I know I need to get my notebook out. I know I need to get these ideas out of my head on a piece of paper. When I do so, I immediately create space. I feel I can see more clearly and breathe more easily. I find this quite therapeutic.
2) Getting still
Once I’ve documented all my ideas onto the pages of my notebook, I feel lighter. This is the time to close my eyes and get still or to meditate. This allows ‘the waters settle even more’ and to gain more clarity.
3) Going out for a walk
If you don’t like sitting in stillness or meditating, there is an alternative: going for a walk. Or you can do both. A little connection with nature, not only changes your perspective, but helps you feel amazing.
4) Is it urgent or is it important?
If none of the above works for you, ask yourself: what can wait or what can’t. I like the analogy I learned from a business bootcamp I attended a few years ago. One day, we were asked a question: ‘What would you deal with first? Something that is urgent or something that is important?’ And there is a big difference between the two. A common answer to this question was urgent. However, what I’ve learned, is that not all urgent is necessarilly important. Some people may object, but going deeper into this concept and learning more about the subject helped me to understand a huge difference between the two. I will leave this open for you to decide what urgent and what important means to you.
I hope these tips have inspired you.