Monday, January 6, 2014

Creating Art and Interruption Management

I've found that while creating new artwork, getting interrupted really disrupts the flow. And it isn't just text messages and emails that can be disruptive. Even thinking about what chores need to be done for the day and other non-art related tasks can be distracting.

Before I create, I try to get as much of that stuff out of my way and out of my mind as possible. Here are some things I do to get rid of all of the mental clutter so I can focus.

Write a List of Tasks

I write a list of the little things that keep bugging me, such as washing the dishes, or vacuuming, or shopping for essentials. When I write it down, I know I won't forget to do it. And once I know that, I feel free to put it out of my mind, and focus on my work.

Set a Specific Time to Check Email
Here's my social media and messages to reply to list. 

Checking my phone every time I hear that I've received an email is super distracting. Besides that, the email that I do get usually isn't that important. Typically I set time aside to check my email at lunch, around 6 p.m., and then before I go to bed. 

Do Serious Shopping

When I do have to go out to shop, I try not to shop in a way that I have to run out and get a few things here one day, and then few other things another day. Not that I never do that, but I try to keep those quick runs to the store at a minimum. When I shop for grocery and other needs, I not only check for items that are completely gone, but also for items that are about halfway gone as well--so when they do run out, I don't have to go to the store. Then not only do I have more time to create because I don't have to run around to take care of errands, but I also don't have it nagging me in the back of my mind either.

Schedule Day Dream Time

It's hard for me to stay completely focused on one task for more than an hour. Turns out I work better when I work on something for 20 minutes and then take a 5 to 10 minute break before I start another 20 minute session. What do I do during those breaks? Whatever I feel like. Sometimes I wash the dishes because it's mindless work. Other times I read a little or simply sit and do nothing. After my mind gets a break, I'm ready to take on some more of whatever I'm working on.

I think the thing that's the most difficult is not checking the email. It is so tempting. I've found that putting my tablet and my phone on silent helps.

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