Whether it is drawing, painting or writing when you first start your creative hobby, you do this activity whenever you feel like it. It is a great source of satisfaction and relaxation. But if you don't feel like doing it, or you are too busy, it fades into the background, without judgment or harm done.
However, when you go pro or otherwise transform your creative spark into your career path, you might face a new source of pressure. You need to create, produce and improve on a regular basis, usually under a tight deadline. Not only this may seem impossible, but it also takes the passion out of your art, especially on days when you feel exhausted, dried up or distracted by the constant non-creative tasks that fill your day. Here are the top five ways on how to get in the zone and be a more productive artist.
Organise Your Working Area
The time you can be in your studio and create is precious, so you need to treat it as such. You will be more focused on your next art project and motivated to get things done if you organise your work area.
Start by finding a comfortable room/space that you can convert into a functional and comfortable art studio. Be sure to place your workstation in a place that you cannot avoid, so you have no preparatory work that slows you down, and you will be constantly reminded of what you should do when you are not doing it. Fill the area with the table on which you will create your art projects, a selection of essential supplies as well as snacks and drinks if you are going to need them.
Additionally, think about all the distractions that can negatively impact your state of mind, leaving you less motivated to complete your work. Make sure to keep the working area free of distractions, turn off your gadgets and close blinds if necessary. Also, you can use earplugs or wear headphones to block out sounds from your environment and minimise distractions.
Clear Your Mind
Just like getting rid of distractions is essential for increasing your focus and productivity, clearing your mind of mental clutter is a key component of improving your performance. It can be challenging to get into a state of flow when you are distracted by thinking about the millions of points of resistance that come while creating art.
To address racing thoughts, you can turn on a relaxing playlist in your studio space, engage in meditation or practise yoga - whatever helps you to relieve tension and relax.
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- all of which can improve your general wellness, aiding in better focus and productivity.
Plan Your Activities In Advance
One of the biggest waste of energy in the studio is also when you have a slit of time to be creative, but you find yourself scrambling to get started. For instance, if you know you have time to paint in the morning, it might help if you had already prepared your supplies the night before and decided what subject you are going to paint and on what canvas size.
If you decide to wait until you wake up to plan your activities, you may find yourself wasting a lot of time finding the canvas of the correct right dimensions, arranging objects in a still life or deciding which reference photo to use, cleaning your brushes, etc.
Doing all of these preparation activities before you go to bed can help you wake up more motivated as you know that all you have to do is go to the studio and start painting. So, consider writing down a list of things that you are planning to do, include your goals, priorities and deadlines, and stick to them.
Set Aside Regular Breaks
Most of us have been there, done this and seen how working for extended periods of time without interruptions can reduce our productivity. Even if you are in the zone working on a masterpiece, your back, legs, and arms might not be able to withstand the strain! So why not take a couple of minutes to rejuvenate your mind and body and restore energy levels?
To take control of your own time, you can use the Pomodoro technique and take a quick 5-minute break for every 25 minutes of work or use the 90-minute block technique and take 20-minute breaks.
Regardless of how you choose to plan your day, don't underestimate the impact of your health and overall wellbeing on your art practice. Use this time to stay hydrated, stretch out tired muscles or even clear your mind by going outside.
Take Advantage Of Your Productivity Cues
Our brain is a pretty complex yet interesting organ, and you can actually trick it into being more productive by giving your brain signals when it's time to get to work.
First, you need to divide everything up into three areas: where you create, where you do business and where you relax. However, try not to go beyond those boundaries. This could be completely different rooms in your home or as simple as dividing your space with furniture.
Thus you will always know what you should work on (or not), depending on what space you are in at the moment. When you leave that area, your brain will know that it is time to change gear, and it will be easier for you to move on to the next task.