Thursday, May 23, 2013
How to stay motivated during a project
Oddly enough, most people, especially those in the creative industry often find themselves lacking the initial enthusiasm after some time into a project. Even those big, one of a lifetime opportunity kind of projects that kick off with tremendous inspiration and willing to do the best you can, eventually turn into a to do list full of micro tasks that piss you off and make struggle, forgetting how fun you thought this was going to be at the beginning. It gets worst when in real life you almost never have the luxury to do one thing at a time and you struggle to keep all you have to do at the same level. Speaking of which, for the last months I have been working on my Design Master Thesis amongst other things and it has been fun but draining too. I guess many of you are going through small and big projects hopefully, so today I am sharing a few tips to help you stay focused and motivated during such a project or any project in your life:
1. Get back to how it all started. Obviously, we should never forget those initial goosebumps we got when we first started brainstorming, but we do, so keep them written on a piece of paper, a mood board or as a note in your mobile phone. In times of struggle and lack of inspiration, just take a breath and start over. You will feel better, I promise.
2. Why are you doing it? This is another thing we should always recall. Be it love and compassion for a topic, the need for monetary profit, your will to help a friend or conquer your skills, or just because you can't do otherwise, the reason why you are doing the project should move you forwards and motivate you at hard times. Everything is a bunch of hard work, no matter how beautiful and creative the result seems, but when you have a strong and real reason behind it, everything feels lighter and brighter.
3. Switch your perspective. If you are used to do things a certain way, try something new when you get stuck. If you usually get tons of inspiration before you start working, try going offline and have a walk in the nature to gather inspiration. On the other hand, if you usually start working immediately, hold on a second and do a little brainstorming. This tip is perfect for every project you might have, small or big. I got myself 15 new articles tittles in less than half an hour brainstorming the word "summer" the other day.
4. Look back at all you have done until now. We often get rushed into our to do lists, willing to do as much as we can. Sometimes it helps to pause and evaluate all you have accomplished until now. Maybe you get a new hint from somewhere, or you just understand you don't have to do as much as you assumed. In some way, this always helps.
5. Dream, plan, write, keep notes. When you are involved in a project you are fond of, you cannot avoid keeping that in mind whatever you might be doing. Don't try to stop this process, even if you want to shift your mind somewhere else for a minute. It might get overwhelming, but it is worth it when you finally get a brilliant idea while showering or running or driving, or any moment that you dedicate to things other than the project itself. Everyone says you should keep a notebook and I will strongly repeat. Usually I have a notebook in my bag, one on my bed and also use my mobile phone's notes, depending on where I am and which one comes handy first.
6. Don't force it. Well, I might not know how everybody's mind works best, but I know there should be other people like me. Sometimes, I can try as hard as I want to find that unique, original, creative idea to launch my project, but it doesn't come from brainstorming or anything else. Than I have learned to stop searching for it. Literally stop. Just when I have forgot about it, the brilliant idea comes to me and from than on, everything is easy, just mechanical work. But this might not work with short deadlines, so you can try it when you have more than a couple of days ahead.
Do you have any tips to help yourself stay focused, motivated and inspired during your projects?
I'd love to know each and every one of them :)
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