creative workflow tips

Something about summer makes it a challenge to get work done.  But when your busiest season coincides with sunshine and daydreams, the work must go on.  The hard part about creative work is that it’s not mechanical.  You can schedule time on your calendar to get it done, but you can’t always guarantee that the creative energy will start flowing when you sit down to create.  So what do you do when you’re stuck in a non-creative rut?

1. Take a Break

This sounds like an oxymoron after saying that the work must go on; but often in walking away from work I’ll find my best ideas.  Literally, walking.  For me walking is one thing that really allows my mind to wander.  Others may find renewed energy in meeting with other creative friends.  Don’t fall into the black hole of binge-watching or other mindless activities.

The caveat of this is that you can’t be up against a deadline.  I prefer to work ahead as much as I can, whenever I can.  This allows me the freedom to take those breaks and make room for creative energy.

creative workflow tips2. Change Gears

Most of the time, the mundane tasks that come along with running a business are a serious drag.  But sometimes, when you need to be productive while you’re struggling to find creative direction, tackling those tasks provides an easy sense of accomplishment and a wise use of time.  Figure out how much time you can spare and tackle those mundane tasks.  Clean our your inbox, schedule your social media, plan out new marketing campaigns.

3. Break it Down

Even large-scale creative tasks can be broken down into smaller, more manageable portions.  Some of those portions are less creative (and easier to tackle) than others.  For me, I absolutely can not select music or draft out a video when I’m not in a good creative space.  I can organize clips, create multicam clips or work through documentary edits.  Often once I’m done sorting through those tasks, I find that I’m inspired by the content to continue through the more creative parts of my edit.

Having that list of less creative tasks helps me to not become overwhelmed by the massive amount of work that editing a video entails. It seems like a daunting, impossible to accomplish task to start the day with “I’m going to create an entire video”.  Looking at the big picture quickly overwhelms me and leads me down the path of avoidance and procrastination.  Being able to divide that task up into smaller, more manageable portions guarantees that I’ll be able to get started working on it (and eventually complete it).

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