Go figure….I found a great book. This one, Get in Done, focuses on moving beyond procrastination to fulfill your creative desires by taking it all just 15 minutes at a time. It’s really something how much you can actually get done in 15 minutes. What’s even more interesting, in my own life and I suspect in yours, is how many ways you can find 15 minutes. Since I started reading this I started waking up earlier and grabbing some time before I had to get in the shower. I started measuring what I wanted to accomplish each week, in regards to reading or being creative (even exercising) in 15 minute increments. Just the main theme of this book has broken down a number of barriers for me. And that is just the beginning of what it really has to offer.
One of my biggest takeaways to date was a great suggestion for motivation block. As a creative person I’m looking for inspiration and fun in what I’m trying to do. Yet when I would sit down to create a to-do list, or set my creative priorities, it would look something like this:
- Start blogging again.
- Sew myself some clothes.
- Create new jewelry designs.
- Finish household DIY projects.
- Develop a plan for a floral and decor rental business.
Pretty cut and dry and rather direct if you ask me. To the author’s point, sometimes we’ve been living with a project for so long that the name of it is now associated with a sort of punishment every time we think about it. That was definitely my case. I had wanted to start blogging again for a year. Every time I sat down to think about restarting or revitalizing the blog, though, I was just frustrated and anxious about the fact that I ever stopped in the first place. Her exercise in Get It Done suggests renaming your projects to give yourself a fresh, perhaps lighter and less oppressive, perspective on what you want to accomplish. One step to it: work swiftly and begin writing down a few possible fun, silly or sexy names for the project in question. I discovered as I started that it didn’t take nearly as long as I expected to rename all my major projects. One idea would turn into another, and into another and before I knew it I had EXACTLY the right name for each.
By renaming your projects to something fun and, sometimes, more meaningful it makes it less like work and more like creative play – which is exactly what artists and creators need to get inspired and get moving. I haven’t started all of them yet, but when I stop to think about what I want to do creatively I get excited every time. So, what are my new projects?
- (re)making Moe: Little did I realize that when I renamed the blog project it would actually inspire the new name for the blog itself that I had been searching for.
- Rip It and Zip It: Because my sewing aspirations involve not only from scratch/pattern sewing but also a lot of thrift and vintage redesigns it totally works. Utterly cheesy? Yes. But it feels far more fun than simply “sewing”.
- Grammy’s Jewelry Box: My grandmother has always been a HUGE inspiration for me. She did everything. I still have a small jewelry box (that was actually my grandfather’s) that I dig through just to reminisce. I remember being little and digging through a big bin of my mother’s old costume jewelry for hours just taking in the pieces. Man do I wish I had that bin today. The name Grammy’s Jewelry Box wraps all of that into one simple statement for me.
- Our New Old House: When the restoration of our house was finished after the fire and we talked about moving back we called it our “New Old House”. As a result, this project rename was way too easy.
- Ultimate Garden Party: This project really revolved around everything I love about decorating with flowers or decorating outdoor spaces. I spent about a year working in a flower shop and I miss it frequently. What I would love to capture through this project is that perfect outdoor space, for weddings or for parties, combined with the sense of a street-side flower market. Exactly what is states – my ultimate garden party.
Renaming these projects didn’t just make it easier to think about working on them but it kick started my creativity overall. I have continued to add idea after idea to each of these over the last 2 months since I took that one simple step. Do you have a project your procrastinating on? I can bet you it has a crappy, homework like name. Spend just 15 minutes today – pick one and rename it. The magic will follow on its own.