No matter what area of the visual arts you work in, we bet one thing that connects you all is an ability to “not do what you think you should be doing” - to everyone else it's called distraction.
We are guilty of it here at WeLikeArtists.com. Every day we worked on getting the site together, we found ourselves checking our Facebook account, looking at Twitter, exploring all those important websites people told us were “worth a look”, following links from artists we like to artists they like - making tea, drinking tea, looking at Ellie Harrison’s Tea Blog!
So - everyone does it and we need to manage the evil which is distraction. The antidote, which everyone will tell you, is ‘focus’ and to do that you need to eliminate all those distractions.
Here are 10 top tips by the folk over at freelanceswitch.com (which we found via our favourite online printers Moo.com). See, we even got distracted doing that!
1. Turn off your e-mail, instant messaging and Twitter notifications, as well as those on your phone.
2. Turn off the Internet. Pull the plug!
3. If you need the internet to work, find a way to block out distractions.
4. Headphones – music is a great way to fall into your own little (focused) world.
5. Create a DO NOT DISTURB sign… co-workers will soon get the hint.
6. Clear workspace clutter – create your own Zen Desk, free of ’stuff’.
7. Clear computer clutter – create your own Zen Desktop, free of distracting icons.
8. Handle interruptions – find ways to quickly get back to the task at hand.
9. Use minimal programs (without all the distracting bells-and-whistles).
And the best one at the end:
10. Distraction time – allow yourself 10 minutes to unwind once every hour!
The full article is worth a read.
These are all remarkably simple activities - you don’t need a PhD to make this work, but you do need to want to do it. Investing a little time in removing some of your daily distractions will pay dividends in improved productivity and (hopefully) spectacular creativity.
Image credit © Andrew Khritin | Dreamstime.com