Thursday, January 16, 2020

Five Ways We Stay Productive


As creators, we've got a lot on. In addition to working on Owl's Flower, we both have day jobs and passion projects — and in each of our cases, they're connected to what you already see us do. Ginger is a designer by day, and Kara does news and features around the web.

With all these different pieces floating around, it can be hard to stay focused and grounded. This book needs doing, but so does this shirt design. These articles are due next week, but so is a rough draft for this anthology. And sometimes, thanks to events in our lives or mood or just the weather, we don't want to do anything. So how do we keep rolling?

We each have our individual ways of focusing up at home, the office, or the home office. But here are a few methods we share in different ways. They aren't miracle cures, but they get the job done.


Take a Nap

black and gray owl

Seriously. If you're procrastinating because you're tired and you have the freedom to lie down, do it. Even dropping down for ten minutes of shuteye will yield better results than attempting to push through. Just make sure you set an alarm and put it somewhere where you can't turn it off in your sleep!

Kara takes a cat nap during the work day if she starts to feel drowsy, and just those few minutes makes a difference.


Online Accountability

person using laptop

When you have someone to answer to, tasks can go a lot faster. If you're an artist or do something else that an audience might like to see, do like Ginger: set up a stream! Whether it's one friend watching or 100 fans, you now have people waiting to see what you do. Plus, if you're working on book illustrations or con merch, it's a great way to give people a sneak peek of what's to come!

Rewards, Not Prewards

wrapped gift box

Give yourself something to look forward to... and then don't move it up. Seriously. Leave it where it is: at the end of the day, or the end of the task, or wherever it's meant to be.

Maybe it's a snack. Maybe it's an episode of your favorite show. For Ginger and Kara, it's sometimes a round of Elder Scrolls Online. Either way, stick to whatever it is. Put a little note somewhere where you'll see it, reminding you what you're getting to. Even if it's just a cup of coffee.


Have a Killer Playlist

woman standing watching LED light musical instrument

You know those songs that really make you feel awake and alive and good? Like you want to do something? Like you want to kick the sun? (Don't kick the sun, but you get the idea.) Put those in a playlist. Really narrow it down to the stuff that makes you feel on top of the world... or at least as close as you can manage.

Ginger's aforementioned streams will give you an idea of her taste in music — maybe you'll get some ideas during her next one! And if you're like Kara and can't work while listening to music with lyrics in it, Spotify has plenty of instrumental-only playlists just for the occasion.


Baby Steps and Forgiveness

brown owl close-up photo

One of the hardest things about getting your productivity on is dropping the ball. You make your tidy to-do list, you have your pretty hand-written planner, and your day is all planned out perfectly. But you oversleep, or something comes up, or you fall into your usual habits. That's okay — start smaller.

Pick one thing to make over in your day. Maybe there's one thing you always put off: cleaning, or a certain task at work. Spend a week getting that in check. Don't worry about the rest. Let it slide. Get this straight first. Then pick another thing.

And if you mess it up? That's okay. If you could just be organized or keep your schedule tamed after one go, setting goals wouldn't be a thing. We all have to try. Even the people who seem to be doing a whole lot. Heck, especially them.

Fix one thing about your schedule at a time, and try again if you mess it up. It sounds basic, but it's how Kara tames her writing deadlines, and it's how Ginger stays on track to make her merch and zines happen. And it's the step a lot of self-improvement sorts tend to skip in favor of magical solutions. 


Speaking of accountability, keep your eyes on us over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We've got more coming this year!

1 comment:

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