When you're a working creative, it's super important to be motivated, productive, and always working and grafting towards your goals and deadlines. We all can waste time in so many different ways; though much more than just your usual procrastination, I've found that there are some specific scenarios we can all relate to when it comes to how we get in our own way when we're forging our own paths and building creative careers we love.
Waiting until something is perfect Whenever we're working on a new project, I've found we can put so much pressure on ourselves to create something that is 100% perfect and ready to go. What I'm learning though is that sometimes it's better to launch in beta - for example, when Rebecca and I launched ALO we spent months beforehand planning everything, building the site, sourcing out contributors, and preparing content. Along the way though we had to set ourselves a deadline for launch, and even though we were wise and chose a date when we knew we'd hopefully be ready, we had to take a leap of faith, launch the magazine, and trust in the fact that we can adapt, grow, and adjust things along the way. Try and forget the notion of perfect and focus on working hard to build something you can be really proud of. Set it free for the world to see and stay adaptable to adjusting and changing along the way - there's a difference between working hard behind the scenes to prepare something, and just holding yourself back by telling yourself it's not ready yet.
Comparing ourselves We all want to create work, build businesses, and share projects we can be crazy proud of - yet we can waste so much time comparing ourselves to other creatives in our fields. Not only is it unproductive, it also can do terrible things to our creative process, confidence, and belief in our own work. Everyone is doing their own awesome thing, and knowing that your work and your ideas have value and a place is the most important thing you should focus on. Be happy for the people within your industry who are succeeding, let their drive and focus inspire your own, but never feel like you have to compete or that you have to walk the same road as they did. Comparison can leave us bitter, jealous, and insecure, and instead we should be focusing on our own work, turning our awesome ideas into something more substantial, and building relationships with fellow creatives and supporting each other every step of the way.
Listening to fear In the past I've spoken about how fear can hold us back and how we can move past it, and without a doubt it's one of the biggest ways we can waste time when working towards our creative goals. The fear of failure and not being good enough can paralyse us when we take the leap into putting ourselves and our work out there. The only thing we can do in the face of it is hold steady, move forward, and embrace the discomfort that can come with pursuing creative endeavours. A little fear can be helpful - it pushes us to do our best work - though too much can hold us back from really pushing forward on those big crazy dreams of ours.
Can you relate to any of these? How do you overcome them?
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