Happy … Friday?
I’m told Monday is a … holiday? Potentially we’re still in May, I haven’t really checked lately.
Anyway, how are you doing? Still in quarantine like the rest of us, wondering what days are and how many ice cream sandwiches you need to eat to make a Complete Meal™?
Before this all went down, in the halcyon days of 2019, I published a book on productivity for creative people titled From Chaos to Creativity. But these days instead of feeling like a productivity expert, I mostly feel like I’m hanging in there.
Which is why when my publisher, Microcosm Publishing, asked if I’d be interested in doing a virtual event to talk about creativity and productivity during quarantine, I balked at the idea.
Sure, I wrote a book on productivity. But will anything I say actually be helpful to people right now?
I said yes anyway, then spent a lovely hour-ish talking with my editor, Lydia Rogue, about how we’re all getting things done during these times of chaos.
Turns out I actually did have some interesting things to say, and you can watch the replay here.
My two biggest personal takeaways?
Be kind to yourself
Maybe before this all went down you worked out every day and ate super healthy and wrote 2k words a day on your novel.
If you’re not doing that now, please please please stop beating yourself up about it. Do what you can, celebrate your wins, and give yourself the same grace you would give someone else.
Being kinder to myself when I don’t meet some self-set perfect standard has made a world of difference in these past few months. I’m happier. I’m mentally healthier. And in the end those two things have helped me get more done.
I’m going to do my best to carry this self-compassion on beyond quarantine, because it’s something I’ve been lacking most of my life.
Do what makes you happy
Not feeling motivated at all? That’s cool. Me neither.
I used to have a fairly rigid schedule, but in the last few weeks I’ve let myself do what seems most interesting at the moment, rather than forcing myself to march in lock-step to the tune of my to-do list.
The result? I’m accomplishing more, because I’m allowing myself to do work when I’m in the mood for it, rather than forcing myself when I’m not in the mood.
Writing this blog post wasn’t on my list today, but suddenly it sounded interesting.
And because I’m interested in it, it’ll take me about 30 minutes instead of several hours if I was forcing myself to do it when I wasn’t in a blogging mood.
Obviously, some of the things on your to-do list need to be done regardless of mood — but if you let yourself do things that interest you first, you’ll start developing more enthusiasm, and therefore momentum.
How’s your creativity doing right now?
Let me know in the comments — I look forward to hearing from you!