Tricks to Get and Stay Productive


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Wendy in the video below has many tips for overcoming Resistance in order to get and stay productive in your creative work session. She has quite a ritual! Her channel is called The Unexpected Gypsy. You may have watched some of her videos already. Let’s give her the attention she deserves in this blog post.

I thought her video was particularly well done and something we could all profit from and watch again from time to time – that is, anytime we are struggling to get back in the swing of creating something.

Whether it’s the fear of facing the blank white canvas or paper. Or if it’s the fear of ruining something you have started and so far so good, creating takes courage.Stay Productive

[1] Early Morning Self-Care Routine – This is different for everyone. It usually includes coffee or tea, washing, stretching, yoga or prayer, walking the dog, and the like. I always include looking at the painting or reference photo as early as possible so that my mind gets focused on the direction of my morning’s work. What would be your ideal that gets you in the proper frame of mind to create?

[2] There are also some things we probably should avoid before a creative session. I avoid checking my emails because I want to minimize distractions. I definitely avoid social media. Once I get into that the time flies and cuts into my best creative hour. I put off making any phone calls, too, if I can. There may be things that you should think about avoiding. What sort of things get you out of the creative mood?

[3] Wendy writes in her journal and gets in touch with how she is feeling that day. I rarely do that. I don’t do that when I have a 9 to 5 job because I’d have to go to it whether I feel like it or not. So I take my creative sessions as seriously as any job – only a really enjoyable one where I’m self-employed.

Stay Productive

[4] Wendy brings up a good point. Sometimes we get anxious, for whatever reason, either before we start to create or during. The solution may be doing some deep breathing, playing peaceful music, or just putting whatever is bothering you in a drawer to deal with later. I often get up and take a brisk walk down the driveway. This releases tension for me. It should be something that brings us joy, hope, or some other positive emotion. Perhaps for you, it would be playing with the dog, brushing the cat, getting a cup of hot herbal tea, dancing to an upbeat song, or just plain stretching.

[5] When we have one of those awful days where there seems to be a huge stone wall over us before we can start, we should tell ourselves that what we create that day does not have to be perfect. Only God is perfect and we are mere mortal artists. Remind yourself that you can always write something out and start again. If you are a writer, you can toss that chapter and take your character down a better path. Not every day – thank God – involves a particularly strong Resistance.

Once we establish a good pre-creative-session routine, Resistance will have less power over us. But if you are having “one of those days,” tell yourself that you will create something and if it comes out badly, no big deal; you can start over later. Chances are you will make something good and be very proud of yourself for winning the battle against Resistance.

Stay Productive

[6] Create an appealing work environment for yourself. Wendy suggests burning a candle with a nice scent. Set up your lighting the way you like it. I often fool around with my brushes and organize my paint tubes. Make sure I’m warm enough or I get an extra sweater.Sit quietly in my chair and tell myself how fortunate I am to have this creative time. I remember that life can get so busy that creative time can be as scarce as gold. Send up a prayer of thanks – or a plea for help. And after a deep, appreciative breath, I begin.

[7] Wendy gives more even tips that can make your creative sessions more productive and enjoyable. Watch her very informative video below. Then leave a comment, telling us how you get into the zone – and manage to stay there!