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No Time for Creative Projects? Try This Tip

by Shane Mehling
art & design, money & life

creative project ideas

If you ask a hundred people why they haven’t been able to finish their creative projects, about 80% will say, “I just don’t have the time.”

And while many them could probably carve out the needed hours every week, let’s focus on everyone who is too swamped with work or family or whatever ends up pulling them away from an endeavor they would truly love to finish.

Looking for some new creative projects to try your hand at? Check out our free creative challenge series, 28 to Make.

As we all know, the actual work often doesn’t take up as much time as the planning, the brainstorming, the following little leads until you run into dead ends.

So much work can get done once you actually figure out what to do. But with your brain space being overrun with some very uncreative necessities every day, it’s hard to keep focused. Out of sight out of mind is a legit issue.

The Notecard Method

One way to help with focus is the Notecard Method.

And it’s as simple as it sounds: all you need are some notecards and a pen.

Every morning take one aspect of your project, some problem you need to solve or aspect that needs puzzling out, and write it on the notecard. Then keep it on your person all day.

Don’t fold it up in your wallet or throw it in your purse. Make sure that wherever you are, when you have even just 30 seconds, you can pull it out and spend that time thinking about what you wrote down. This will keep you from going through eight hours every day where the topic doesn’t even enter your mind. Instead there will be these little punctuated moments of creative thought.

And, if you’re able to carry a pen with you as well, you’ll find yourself building off the idea through the day, so by the end of the say you’ll actually be staring at an idea that’s a few steps ahead of where you began that morning.

No, the Notecard Method is not as ideal as spending two hours every morning on your project, but few of us are facing ideal situations. And even if you still struggle to finish your project, this can be a little reminder through your week that there is something more going on in your life than filling out paperwork and going to PTA meetings.

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Shane Mehling

Shane Mehling is a freelance writer and editor who plays in noiserock bands.