10:25am (601 notes)
5 Ways to Work Harder as a Creative
This week we have been taking a look at hard work. I’m personally convinced that hard work is THE factor when it comes to creative success. I also believe hard work is much more valuable than raw talent. So we know we need to work harder, how do we do it?
Here are some ideas:
1. Put in More Time
Only you know whether those early mornings or late nights are more productive to you in this particular season of your life, but whichever you choose, start burning the candle at least at one end.
You have to put in the time, time spent is the only way to get better and do more. If you aren’t pouring time into your creative passions, you are missing out on great opportunities and growth.
2. Work Smarter
This isn’t just a catchy slogan. You might be doing a lot that you shouldn’t be doing. You also might not be doing a lot of what you should be doing. What needs priority? What needs to be let go? Some sort of meditation will give you the clarity you need to to work smarter.
Personally I almost always wake up and have some time to think and pray. One thing this does is help me step back and evaluate where I need to be more intentional. Intentionality is the catalyst to working smarter.
3. Surround Yourself With Hard Workers
I’m currently rewatching Freak and Geeks right now and there’s a funny phrase that I heard a few nights ago in an episode ‘One Bad Banana Ruins the Bunch!’. Although I think this breaks down quickly and it’s a bit judgemental, the attitudes and habits of others do have potential of rubbing off on us.
The biggest leaps in my work ethic have come from working closely with a peer that works much harder than I did. When an Olympic sprinter breaks a world record that no one ever thought could be broken, something strange happens, all of a sudden all the other sprinters in the next Olympic games are all running faster than that record! It’s like humans are capable of anything, but only what they see as possible.
My dad always says ‘You are infinitely more capable than you think’. You can work much harder than you think you can, and being near people that work much harder than you can help you believe this.
4. Notice Your Patterns
Noticing life patterns are always going to be part of my advice because I think understanding the patterns of life is the key to wisdom. I noticed recently that when I consistently eat crappy food at night it dramatically hurts my productivity.
Why? Because eating bad at night makes me sleep poorly, which means I don’t wake up as early, and I’m most productive during early mornings. To take it a step further, I am more motivated in the afternoons following productive mornings! Everything is connected.
5. Take Good Breaks
It’s sort of counterintuitive to think that working harder is about resting harder. I say this a lot, but try not to do anything energy neutral. Things that don’t energize us or use our energy are pretty much worthless. If you aren’t working, do things that make you feel great about getting back into work mode.
Surfing facebook for hours is rarely motivating. Instead watch an inspiring talk online, read a good interview, go for a coffee with a creative friend.
Working Hard Is Not an Option
For those of us that love doing creative work and want to do it for as long as we live, there is only one option: work extremely hard, forever. It’s too competitive, and our competition is working too hard to just sit back and take it easy.
What helps you work hard?
yiiiiiiis. To expand my thoughts on #2 and #5 (working smarter and taking good breaks), lately what’s been on my mind is the crossover of work and play and where it does/doesn’t intersect. Recently I’ve noticed that these areas have meshed a lot more than before: I’m doing a lot more work that has to be done on the computer, and I’m finding a lot of my entertainment on the computer as well. It’s so easy to click around design sites in the name of recreational research but my personal frustration with that is that it eats up so much time and, honestly, makes it hard to get away from the computer because there’s endless ideas out there to be inspired by. But I need to have time to make original work and moreover I have a life to live aside from my work. This is where point #2, working smarter, comes in. I need to start being more intentional about stepping back, seeing where my time is going, and being more critical about what type of research is constructive and necessary so that my life has room for other things (relationships, health, etc.) as well. Otherwise, I’m sure to lose sight of why I pursue my line of work in the first place. Stepping back and taking stock of where I’m at helps to give perspective and renew vision; I don’t want to only have my head down in my work and get caught up in a self-constructed rat-race.