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Picking Up Where You Left Off: Uncanny Creativity 30

Sticking with your hobbies and side projects is tough at times. We have so much going on in our lives and trying to fit in all of the things we want is a challenge. We can fit it all in, just not at the same time. What is the key to doing everything?

Prioritizing. Inconsistency with your timing is okay. It’s going to happen. This is an opportunity to evaluate where you’re spending your time. Make real decisions to change who and what you spend you time on. It has to come from somewhere. If you’re not sure where the time goes. Decide clearly what your individual needs are. Needs are food, water, and shelter. Television, travel, and even time with loved ones are not actually needs. Evaluate how you get your needs. You do need to eat, yet you don’t have to prepare a three course dinner seven days a week for your family. Are there ways to change your wants to shift your time and create time for your hobby?

“I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”
― Oscar Wilde

Roadblocks. Do you really want to do it at all. Dedicate time to what you can. In the beginning, just concentrate on spend five minutes a day to each of your problems. Read and research always makes me feel better about tackling most problems. Don’t get stuck in the research phase though! Write down ideas and notes where ever you are. I use my sketchbook or my smart phone to jot notes where ever I am. This isn’t just research at that point, it’s planning.

Tell everyone you know. Encourage support from your friends and family. Be positive even if you’re afraid of other people’s reactions. You know it’s important to you no matter how people react. Directly ask them motivate you and accept any matter what response they have as an incentive to continue.

Cut yourself slack. If you miss your deadline, skip a day, just make a new plan Are the problems really bigger than the successes? They may feel that way sometimes, yet in reality what’s “important” is really just an illusion of our minds

The next step. Figure out one next step you can do. One step. This could be to write down your plans. If I’m a painter, what do I need to really do to make this happen. Start simple! If you dive in with  elaborate goals, you’ll be discourage. Maybe even the goal is too daunting. Perhaps today I won’t start the Mona Lisa. How about if I just scribbling what I see around me on a piece of paper. Make your first steps as simple as possible. Jot down your next step ideas so when you have a free moment you can just do one.

What is stopping you from meeting your goal? Stop looking for that “new” idea to answer this question. Look to  what you know, what you’re already confident about.  Thin about what you’ve done well and return to it. This podcast is one of the more popular things I’ve done. It works. People like it. So here I am. When you take breaks, take a moment to think what your next step might be.

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
― Denis Waitley

Finally, make sure you have fun! Sometimes we all are too serious about our hobbies and goals. If you miss out on a goal or deadline, you can just start on your new goal. Let yourself have fun.

Uncanny Creativity is an art productivity podcast helping you to be more imaginative everyday. Brian E. Young is a magazine art director and artist in Baltimore, Maryland. If you have a design and creativity question I can help answer, send me your letters by e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.

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Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

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Brian E. Young

I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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