Season 3 – epiBLOG 22:
What do you do when you know you have to complete a task, but just aren’t motivated to do it at all, let alone, to even get started?
You know we all get lazy from time to time, and simply just don’t feel like working. Sometimes we simply want to veg out in front a Netflix series, sleep, or roam the internet looking for the next “fun thing” that can excite us.
Today’s topic is on refocusing on your daily or weekly tasks (or creating them) in order to move forward efficiently.
Oftentimes we get distracted by “life,” which can keep us from staying on task with our career objectives as artists. It’s okay if this happens sometimes. Don’t beat yourself up for getting distracted. You’re human. Just don’t make a habit of doing this.
I just had major surgery last week, and within four days I’m writing. Why? Because I love writing. I’m excited to write. And writing is how I make my living.
The surgery was a slight distraction, but I’m also very aware of daily and weekly tasks and/or objectives that help my career to move forward.
Although writing excites me, does this mean that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week I feel like pulling out my laptop or iPad and creating magic behind the blinking cursor that stares back at me? No. However, it does mean that my reason FOR writing is big enough to motivate me.
Knowing that I’m “on purpose” with what I’m doing for a living simply means that I have to maintain my daily and weekly tasks in order to remain productive. This can include, but is not limited to: attending my writer’s group twice a week to write collectively, attending my Mastermind group twice a month, reading self and professional development books, reading screenplays, reaching out to connect with new people, attending networking events, writing on my own, etc.
Doing these activities (or tasks) is what allows me to make a living as a writer.
Here are some steps to keep you on task with your career goals:
Figure out what you’re excited and passionate about. I figure if you’re reading this blog, you already know. However, if you don’t, figure out first what moves you. For me, that is definitely my writing. Could I do other things…? Yes. Do I want to…? No. Not anymore. My love for writing has me open to opportunities, but focused on seeing the wonderful things that I actually enjoy doing as a writer. If you find out what you’re passionate about – what you feel you are supposed to be spending the rest of your life doing — you can set achievable goals throughout the year that will lead you to constantly living out your career as an artist. We won’t go into details within this post because the purpose here is to let you understand how simple it is to remain focused on completing tasks.
Once you have a 12 month goal that supports your purpose, you want to create monthly goals that help to support the ultimate 12 month goal. Breaking goals down helps them to feel manageable and achievable. You’re more than likely going to get things done when you feel like you can actually accomplish them. Note the difference between a task, a goal, and a dream. Instead of providing definitions here, I’m going to illustrate the points with examples. A task can be researching networking groups in your area. You know that you need to meet people. Taking the time to create a solution for meeting people would be a task. The goal can be to meet eight new people each month, which can lead to a new client or someone being interested in paying you for your art. And your dream can be to make a living as an artist. See, many of us get confused as to what a dream, a goal, and a task are. Knowing and understanding the difference and seeing how they all work together is what can help you to move forward as an artist.
This is where you want to create daily or weekly tasks that support your monthly goals, and then ultimately your goal for the year. What does a task look like? It can be to paint, write, sing, rehearse, or whatever it is you do for 4-5 hours a day. Personally, I set tasks based on how many pages I will write on a script per day. Create tasks that will work for you. If my goal is to have three scripts done within 12 months, it’s going to take me writing a certain number of pages weekly in order to see that goal come to fruition.
Growing as an artist by actually DOING your art is crucial and required. Nevertheless, it is also important to develop your mindset and skills. Sometime it’s equally productive to actually attend seminars, workshops, conferences, take a class, or to read a self-help book. As an artist, you have to remain in a constant state of learning. A task could be reading a book and/or industry specific publication for 30 minutes a day. This allows you to learn new information that you can apply within your field.
Today’s LESSON is to maintain or create daily/weekly tasks in order to be a productive artist.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Create a list of 5 tasks that you would like to add to your daily or weekly objectives that will help support your monthly and 12 month goal as an artist. You will be surprised how this not only helps you to be more productive, but how you will begin to see results materialize before your eyes.