It's difficult to feel motivated and stay focused on our goals all the time. But how to achieve what we want, how to not let procrastination stand in our way?
Here are some of my thoughts about the topic and I hope that they might be helpful.
1. Set goals
Think about your ultimate goal - what is that matters to you the most, what would make you incredibly happy and excited. Write that down and work your way through to it. It will be the reason, the reminder for you to look forward in those times, when you'll feel less motivated.
Try to write also weekly, monthly and yearly goals - be reasonable and realistic regarding that, but don't be afraid of challenges. They have to be S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. 2. Plan tasks in previous day
Make a list of what you want to accomplish in the next day, prepare all the necessary tools, workspace. Be ambitious, but think of what would be the best choices to make. For example, write 3 tasks for next day - then do them and see the results. If you narrow the tasks and plan accordingly, you will feel less overwhelmed and you won't need to think whether you should do them and you'll procrastinate less, as you won't have to make decisions, just do the things on list. 3. Use schedules
As boring as it may sound, but schedules can have a great impact on your workflow.
There is this wonderful "One Week Practice Schedule"
, and it's amazing for planning studies accordingly to your needs and maintaining focused discipline in order to become a better artist.
Also take a look at another Art Study Schedule
, that is more focused on certain time constraints and allowing to make your own personalized schedule. 4. Know your most efficient hours
Analyze when you feel the most inspired and motivated to work, what is the time of the day when you're the most efficient. Then on those hours put your full focus and do the most important work. Don't allow distractions stay in your way when you're the most productive. Work smarter, not harder - think about more productive ways to get things done. 5. Use the deadlines
Deadlines can be a tough and frightening thing. Use them in your advantage - whether it's a commission of personal project. Mark that in the calendar or in visible place. Knowing that there is limited time, can motivate you to not slack off and use every moment that you have in order to be closer to accomplishing the task or finishing an artwork. 6. Stay organized
It's easy to get confused when things are messy - start with your workspace and put things and tools where they should be, so when you would need them you would know exactly where they are. Try to sort your folders in desktop, having inspiration folders, music, videos in a certain place can be useful - also naming files according to what they contain, not asdfgfjk.jpg, can be great when you will need to find them later on.
While it's been said that messiness can lead to some sort of creativity, sometimes there needs to be a clean and prepared workspace for "happy accidents" to even happen. 7. Do research
Read about succesful people, not only artists, but those who have achieved a lot and have wonderful and inspiring lifes. Learn what helped them to get where they are now, study their creative habits, mindset. Through podcasts/audiobooks there is a way to listen to them and their thoughts, while working on your own stuff. Don't be afraid to ask questions, but be cautious and respect the time of the other person, by looking on their website/interviews whether they have already answered those questions and choosing to ask meaningful things. 8. Don't allow yourself to procrastinate all the time
Think about how well you spend your time. There is a chrome app - Motivation
that displays your current age and when you see how your time passes when opening new tab - it can add some sense of how fast time really goes by.
to block certain websites when you need that, disconnect from internet if necessary.
Check your social media sites, e-mail at certain time of the day.
It's easy to fall in the repetitive cycle of wasting your time, then feeling guilty and anxious about that and then, in order to feel better and forget that - by wasting your time even more. We can't run away from what needs to be done and putting most important tasks till the very last moment is not the right choice. Perhaps it worked well in the school, but in real life - your are in charge of what you do. What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.
9. Reward yourself
Even if it's a cookie, episode of favorite tv show, great movie, new art supplies - sometimes rewarding yourself after a hard work can motivate you to succeed. Thinking about the reasons why you are doing a certain task and combining this with rewards can do miracles in terms of motivation and lead to better results.
10. Do the work
Start doing what you need to do.
Don't allow doubts and thoughts that you will fail to stand in your way. Just start.
It's the most difficult thing, but once you do something, it becomes more easier to continue.
Start with small things, get in the mood (even if you don't feel like it), sometimes all it takes is an action. Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
-- /Paul J. Meyer