5 tips to know you’re in the “Loop of Confusion” and ways to get out!
1. Too much CMYK. Here’s what subtle 2020 procrastination looks like:
Going for the 3rd cup of COFFEE in 2 hours, as an excuse to check your phone. 1 time an hour is enough people.
Watching ‘what’s trending’ and from your YOUTUBE suggestions but you come back to the home page again to see what’s been refreshed.
Spending 10 min to find the perfect MEME to send to a WhatsApp friend when a smiley wink is enough.
Doing the LAUNDRY. Wait…but its productive …..right? (Also I didn’t have another word for “K”)
Instead make a list of stuff you love to do (guilty pleasures not that you need to do), takes literally 5 min and that’s not online. Then tape the list on a wall by the coffee or the fridge or bathroom and each time you are there, just “take 5” on one of the things on your list to get yourself out of the loop….of confusion.
Draw your neighbor freehand into a fantasy character (and then show them you get bonus points)
Count the number of people going by your window with just their nose sticking out of their mask
10 Burpees (if you don’t know what these are, ask Google or Siri. These quick exercises will change your life)
It doesn’t matter if you are ‘ready’ for a break or not, its just to clear your head and get a new perspective about an underlying issue you are evidently having and just not doing anything about.
2. You’re in the Friend Zone
You told your best friend (or mom) about your idea or new process. They look at you sideways. You feel bad afterwards and slowly descend into a a bat of bad hot chocolate second guessing yourself. Stop telling people about your work.
Just carefully select like 2 or 3 people whose professional opinion you appreciate and who give good feedback. They don’t have to be your friends and probably shouldn’t be mom or dad. Be discriminating with whom you you share your process, work or results with because, well, isn’t your work, worth real consideration and feedback? And while you’re at all, be specific with what kind of response you are looking for. People don’t know how to react to anything these days. They mostly do/react how society tells them. A friend experiences a death in the family so you say “`im sorry.” Why? Most of the people if you’ve been in that situation, the last thing you need to hear is another “Im sorry.” So, you’ve got to say specifically what you want them to say or how to react. “How’s the audience effect, sound quality, color tone, shape etc of the work. If not, they may fall into the loop of the general, “yeah, it looks good.” We aren’t 15 any more and don’t need someone to blow smoke up our A**….well, anymore. We need the a real opinion.
Don’t be sad if someone doesn’t ‘understand’ your work (uh hum…,my mom. “Wait, did I say that?”) It’s just that we leave the question to …vague. Either they will like it or not. Either A. Don’t ask them. or B. Stop telling everyone you are creating this and that. It’s like secretly we are asking for validation. And when we don’t get it, we feel like we haven’t accomplished what we wanted or we second guess our talent.
3. You’re cheating on your BF …with Google
Why do we look up so much stuff on google when we already know the answer?… Or at least most of it? Why not really just ask ourselves a specific question about what we really want to know BEFORE we click on google to give us an answer? Its more directly, takes less time and we spend more time with a `BF than hours of what we call “research” online. I got news for you, its not research…its a time suck.
“Okay, Google” (or Siri)…”What is the best website tool for bloggers?” I really just looked this one up and it was the most timely-ness time-suck ever. When I could have just thought about it for a sec and asked “Which blog sites offer features to make online classes?” I spent like 2 or 3 hours searching for just that right answer. I literally could have found a jackfruit, made a vegan burger from it and ate it by the time I found the answer I really was searching for. But with google do you see, we use it …not for research …but for brainstorming. This is bad for creatives. We put in keywords hoping to “get close.” Lets use our brains a little more before that actual search.
4. You’re sitting on the White Picket Fence
So in America…I mean the States (cause I don’t wanna piss off my Canadian friends), people used to dream about the couple in neck sweaters with the 2 door garage, 2 kids, a dog (not a cat for some reason) and the perfect lawn back in the day. It was our version of the perfect American life….complete with the white picket fence around the house. The “perfect” life doesn’t exist. It’s what we call, a utopia. As creatives, want this perfectionism. We sit on our “white picket fence” all day, not wanting to show our work because its not “perfect” enough. `Ok, we don’t actually say that..we say either, it’s not ready” or “I’ve not finished yet”.
Get off the White picket fence and give yourself a real definition of what “perfection” for you actually means. Perhaps it’s a criteria of what that entails: does it have a least 3 colors in it, does it communicate 3 aspects of my mission, does it have 300 resolution, etc.
Perhaps you can give the project a percentage of work completed thats good enough where you can take a `pause’ and stop . It will most likely never be “perfect”. Sometimes we need to get paid and move on with life. A brilliant author told me just yesterday that she is working on her 3rd draft. She said once it’s 85% ‘good enough’, she’ll submit it. If the book is any good, the publisher will ask for another edition later or have an editor finish the process. What a good outlook? Take a deep breath guys….because if we don’t let “it” go, (…let the baby go and do its thing), you’ll stay on that white picket fence and not go anywhere else fun.
5. Worried about the “H” word
In the English language, it’s like the 5 Ws (who/what/when/why/where that start a question) are in a cult always hanging out and the “H” (How word that starts a question) is always the loner. We use the 5Ws for everything light and fun and interesting. Where is the party? When do I get paid? Whats the book about? Maybe it’s because asking “How” is so……well, horrible! It’s heavy, big, complicated and generally asking it has a very uncertain answer. Its like my mom asking but “how” are you gonna do all that in Paris when its Covid? (oops…am I talking about my personal life too much here?)
Anyway creatives, why do we need to use it at all? Asking “how” can stifle our creative process. How do we make the money? How to transfer my passion to selling my work? How to find an apartment in Paris? This question should be replaced by three simple words, “`in-what-way.” There…now, doesn’t that feel better? The pressure just lifted, temperature on your forehead dropped and now you can simply list the countless fun ways to find that apartment, unique ways to locate an audience, create classes, etc. Listing things is easier than trying to form complex solutions to problems made bigger by our big ‘ol monster creative imagination. We have enough stress in the world right?