Try this: Stop Multitasking.
Focus on one task at a time. One aspect of one task.
Multitasking even hurts well-practiced habits. A 1990’s experiment on productivity demonstrated that switching between two tasks slowed participants. The experiment was shared by the American Psychological Association. If a participated repeated the same task again and again, they were better at it. Bilingual individuals matched colors and numbers in their native language versus a second language. Working in their native language became more difficult.
Switching goals and changing trains of thoughts is hard! Notice when you get distracted and choose to refocus on one thing until your goal is met. We naturally switch tasks throughout the day. Switching from one thing to another less often makes it easier. When you note you’re tempted to start and stop often, gently push yourself back.
I always have many projects on all of my lists at every moment. Especially when collaborating, I try to stick with what I’m doing. So if I’m at an improv comedy practice, I’m not talking much about my art and music. When I’m at the piano, I try not to let my mind wander to work or another improv show. I’m at my best when I can just obsess for hours about one thing.
Have you faced a problem with focusing?
I previously read the book Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. I'm working on reviewing the follow-up book "Show Your Work. Inspired by Kleon's discussion of his inspirations, I think the creative ethic of Tina Fey is pretty great. So I'm going to discuss some of her ideas and how to apply them to be creative. One thing I love is that her ideas inspire having humor about art. Humor has been linked to idea generation. Make sure to write and even sketch your answers to these questions. Writing a powerful way to take action. What are you resisting? ... Read more
Making art often means getting out of the comfort zone. Alan Henry of Lifehacker explains the science of breaking out of your comfort zone: Routine and patterns minimize risk. Making something scares us. Creating something inherently feels risky. Who knows if it'll be good? The comfort zone feels happy with low anxiety and low stress. This is why most people never make anything. Optimal Anxiety Slight anxiety helps us. "Optimal Anxiety" increases performance. Too much stress and we do poorly. Comfort is the opposite of productivity. Volunteering as a designer helps me escape my routine. It can feel stressful, yet ... Read more
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.
Uncanny Creativity: Art & Design Productivity
Also published on Medium.