heat wave has settled in LA. as i’m typing in at this cafe in echo park, i can barely concentrate despite the a/c. something about the summer just inspires daydreaming. or maybe blaming the weather is a convenient excuse for productivity.
speaking of productivity, it seems as though i’ve neglected you, blog. sure, i’ve been busy shooting, work and eating but let’s be real — i’ve also been very busy procrastinating. ;] that hopefully should change. i stumbled across this book called “manage your day to day: build your routine, find your focus & sharpen your creative mind.” i’m not too far into it but it’s already been very helpful. i like that it’s comprised of essays from multiple creative professionals.
woopz, i got some grease on my copy thanks to a delicious brie/fig sandwich. anyway, with the producer day job, regular editorial photo gigs, concert shoots, and personal projects, i end up feeling really overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the day.
i’m trying to do the below. maybe they’ll help you optimize your time too:
- set aside time for creative endeavors or personal priorities at the start of your day – wake up early. complete the tasks important to you early in the day because by the end of the day, you’ve already expended your best mental energy on other tasks. this leads to more procrastination a la “i’m too tired” or “i already worked all day.”
- practice routine and frequency – it’s easier to keep going than it is to stop and start cold. also, when you do something often, it takes the pressure off for each task result to be the most amazing thing ever. this blog for example, the longer i put it off the more anxiety i feel about making a post that’s incredible since i haven’t blogged in a while. you start to overanalyze and that just gets in the way of actually doing anything at all. same with photography too– the more you develop a habit of shooting, editing, and posting often– the more likely you’ll get an incredible shot. wtf, you think you’ll capture a masterpiece each time you click the shutter? c’mon. whatever you do, it doesn’t have to be perfect– just do it until you get there. anyway, i’ve been applying routine and frequency to exercising lately too– more on that in another post.
- break down big goals into manageable, executable tasks – figure out what you want and then list out actionable steps to get closer to the goal. it can get really intimidating when you just focus on the big picture. it makes starting an endeavor hard and procrastination becomes an excusable option. instead, take it day by day and one task at a time. those days will add up and as long as you practice routine (#2!) you’ll get there. don’t obsess over the end goal– always have it in the back of your mind but instead concentrate on the smaller tasks getting there. the project management strategies from my producer job should be applied towards the way i tackle my personal goals. on the projects i manage, there’s always a scope and defined deliverables. you don’t just charge into a project without structure– you take it piece by piece. i make a schedule that breaks down the project into clear design iterations, development rounds and then QA. breaking down steps makes the end goal achievable otherwise you don’t know where to start.
- don’t download the simpsons tapped out mobile game – you will spend embarrassing amounts of money on donut currency and premium items. just don’t do it.
- don’t procrastinate by googling “how to stop procrastinating.” you’ll just end up looking at cat memes online.
kay, maybe some of those tips are less helpful than others. i might add more later. go ahead and leave your own tips in the comments section.
on that note, gonna leave now. been at this cafe too long and my buddy has already left! we had a brunch/work hang out. i’ll leave you with a photo of our coincidental cat wallpapers.