Many creatives have two modes of operation.
One is DO ALL THE THINGS!
And the other is GO SLOW, TRY NOT TO MOVE.
One of those tends to be a huge time waster. And it might not be the one you think.
There is a story that when Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling, he stopped for several days and did nothing each day but stare at the ceiling and then go home. One day, a person remarked that it was such a tragedy that he had stopped working. Michelangelo remarked, “I’ve been working very hard every single day!”
I have no idea if the story is folklore or fact, but it illustrates my point so I’ll go with it. Often, the one thing that will save you the most time, energy and costly mistakes is the one thing that creatives have the hardest time doing.
Sitting their behinds in their chair for some serious creative strategy time.
Strategy is not a word that most creative artists, writers, actors… (name your obsession) like. It’s a squirmy word that causes them to quickly look around for all the available exits. Artists are doers, not thinkers. Any thinking will be done in the moment on the canvas, page or stage, thank you very much. We tend to fly by the seat of our craft.
And it’s only when we are singing the “Oh Sh#T” anthem because we realize we screwed up…again, that we ever think that maybe slowing down and thinking things through might have been a good idea.
Want more time to do your craft and do it well?
Slow down, sit your butt in a chair and plan ahead. It will clear up space in your brain for play.
And oh by the way… Creative strategic planning is not code for making a giant list and then running around and DOING ALL THE THINGS! That isn’t strategic. That is crazy. Strategic is creating a plan for taking small, manageable, not-overwhelming, efficient steps that move the ball forward. Just a bit forward. Not rolling down on you like a bowling ball aiming for a strike. Just a little bit. Then do some more the next day.
You can think of it as a “Slow Down to Speed Up” list. Strategic. Do-able
Ah…. doesn’t that sound better?