I find that most artists have difficulty continually making progress on anything except creating new work (and even sometimes that). See, by nature creative minds think well in the abstract, the big picture, the conceptual… we don’t do so hot with day-to-day specifics especially when they’re -ick- business tasks.
And so we let all these little tasks pile up, up, up. And bam – we are horribly overwhelmed. There’s just too much to do.
And what happens? We do nothing because the overwhelm has become intense that it’s added another level of overwhelmed – I guess we are literally overwhelmed about being overwhelmed (is that possible?).
But it paralyzes us. This happens to me all the time and I bet it happens to you too. You look at your to do list with things that should be accomplishable and you just can’t get yourself to do it.
So I know you want a fix to the problem so you can moving and make progress on your business as well as your art. But the truth is that the solution to overwhelming overwhelm is different for everyone. My brain prefers dumping every task I can think of on a page and then pulling 2 or 3 of them to tackle that day, no more. Preferably the easiest ones too. But I know other creatives who can’t possibly have a massive list of tasks or the overwhelm will never go away. And I know some people who do best with challenging themselves to complete as many tasks as possible in a given amount of time.
The point is – everyone’s solution will be different. You have to find what works for you by exploring lists, calendars, task managers, and timers; or more creative things like drawings, colorful post-it notes, and reward or punishment systems. But the first step is knowing why you’re overwhelmed. Are you scared of particular tasks? Are you fearful of failure in general? Or maybe you just don’t know what to do first and not being able to pick something has paralyzed you.
Once you’ve figured that out, you can start experimenting with solutions to your overwhelm so you can conquer those necessary business tasks and get your butt back in the studio!
Share with me in the comments why you’re overwhelmed and if you’ve figured out something that works to push you out of overwhelm.