It can be near impossible to create in distracting environments. And that’s why the greatest creative superpower is your ability to focus.
Because in a world of digital distractions the more time you can spend in the act of creating the more progress you make not only in individual projects but on your career as a whole.
What’s even more awesome is that the methods you can use to hone your own focus are things that you can do to help other creative people in your life.
The more space for focus…the better everything else gets.
Here’s 6 ways you can become a creative laser beam:
1. Create a Bubble
Disabling notifications of any kind whether that be from social media, smart watches, or a slew of other devices goes a long way.
And the same is true not just with personal devices or platforms but also for work.
Shutting down slack and closing out of your email browser can quickly create an impenetrable bubble in which you can operate more efficiently.
The goal here is simply to stop the input coming at you from every direction. Because the more you allow these incoming blasts of information to distract you the harder it becomes to focus on the actual work.
2. Create a Routine
Getting yourself excited to make something can often times be the simplest way to overcome the barrier to taking that first creative step.
And by scheduling time to create you provide yourself more time to prepare for what’s coming. Allowing your subconscious to begin the work even before you’re aware that you’ve started.
As you continue down this path you’ll slowly become better at saying “no” to unnecessary and spur of the moment tasks while also saying “yes” to more structured and deep work.
3. Create for Set Time Periods
By piggybacking off of your new found creative schedule you can start to kick things into high gear.
Make your creative time periods longer as you’re able to make them more of a priority.
Go deeper into one project each time you work and spend less time dabbling in a handful of unrelated tasks.
4. Create a Creative Space
Whether that’s a desk, a corner of a coffee shop, or somewhere outside.
Create a creative place that makes you feel at home and at ease.
By existing in an environment that inspires you to be the best version of yourself the work becomes more fluid as a result.
5. Create Something Easy First
Every once in a while you’ll be at the verge of a tight deadline and nothing you do gets you in the mood to take steps forward.
In this situation it helps to break things down into smaller bites.
Edit later instead of trying to create and edit at the same time and stop judging what comes out.
Doing so will lessen the struggle that comes with getting started and allow more room to build on those first simple steps.
6. Create More
Ira Glass said it best when he talked about creating a volume of work to close the gap between where your work is now and where you know it can go in the future.
Because the only way to produce great work is to go through a large enough body of it that you learn what didn’t work in an effort to find what does.
The irony in honing your ability to focus comes from the understanding that the more structure you can put in place around creative pursuits the more space you give yourself to go wild.
Instead of thinking that an hour of scheduled calendar time for a creative task is constricting think of it in the opposite way…
That hour of time is dedicated solely to a single creative task and anything else from answering emails to taking phone calls is completely ignored.
This free’s up your brain to spend less time worrying about small fires and blasts through any artificial boundaries you may have accepted accidentally.
Discipline = Freedom