Deadlines and stress can be damaging to the creative process. It causes our creative energy to freeze up and often mis-fire. I will admit there are the few individuals out there that thrive under stress but for the rest of us maintaining a productive flow of creative thoughts while dealing with stress is difficult. There are 4 steps that I have found beneficial to nurture the creative process.
1. Space /Distance:
When you feel overwhelmed by the “stuff” that needs to be done, it is difficult to focus on the playful quality that is necessary to tap in into creative energy. First find a quiet place that you can spend time and not be interrupted by anything. Turn off the computer, the phone and anything else that might make noise. Place distance between you and everything that might distract you.
Allow yourself a set amount of time. Whether this is per day, week or month make sure that you schedule the same amount of time for each session. Break this down into two sections: For example: you have two hours to dedicate for being creative time. The first 30 minutes you can focus and banish the extraneous things out of your mind. Write down ideas or go through notes or doodles that you have accumulated. This is your time to explore, fumble, ponder things and even make mistakes. This time allows space for your brain to switch gears. The next 90 minutes you find that you have produced a firm platform for a better quality mindset. You will find that you are more focused, and energized. Your ideas will be better organized and you will have a better idea of how to move forward with them. This will bring an element of fluidity to your creative process.
You have to be willing to stand your ground with the understanding that you will create the very best that you can. Go boldly forward, if you make a mistake step back reassess and decide if you want to continue on this path or chose a different one. This is your time to explore be brave and have fun with it.
Creative adventures are meant to be fun. So relax and enjoy the journey. Explore your creative ideas and discover what wonderful places they may lead you. Make it fun; remember something that is created from joy will be much more fulfilling then something created from stress.
Over time this process will become easier, and before you know it, you will look forward to your creative time and be amazed by not only the amount of creative ideas that you produce, but you will be proud that you were the one that created them.
Above all remember this is to be fun!