For my second Inktober challenge I decided to draw about productivity without using a prompt. I did it all in the same style in ink with some Photoshop to fix and correct stuff. I only used brushes for the ink part.
I hope you enjoy my Inktober!
The best way to do stuff is just to start. You don't need your inspiration or motivation to do it. Just by doing it you will expierience it. Try to kick yourself in the butt and start. It will go easier as soon as you are working.
Without clear goals and a weak "why" you won't do your stuff! Lets say you stay in bed all day and suddenly your flat will blow up in 30 seconds. You stay up and run outside as fast as possible. There is your strong why to get up and do something. Its too early for you to get blown up therefore you get up. Search for your strong why, and you will do your stuff (and won't blow up)!
If you try to do your things but have the urge to do something else (or nothing), try to hold on. It might feel uncomfortable, but it is just a feeling and will pass. After a while the need to stop fades away and you can focus on your stuff you want to do again! Also: You will learn to tolerate it so it gets easier everytime you do it!
It helps if you start write about the problems you have. Keep a little journal or write directly into your sketchbook. If you begin to struggle start writing about what you think right now and how you feel. Do it for like 10 minutes. After that it will be much easier for you or you even found the solution for your problem while writing.
When you want to stop but you haven't done enough apply the 20% rule: Go 20% further what you have been doing. Most of the times you work even more after that. But if you think you have done enough take a break, because those are important too!
Over the years I realised that I have more fun doing imperfect drawings. If I would try to do this Inktober flawless I probably wouldn't finish it. Or I would be stressed as crazyabout the whole challenge. So be imperfect and enjoy the ride. You will do more and have more fun!
My productivity skyrocketed when I realised if I sleep enough I'm crazy more productive. As soon as I haven't slept enough or had a bad night of sleep I know to schedule my day differently. So if you don't sleep enough and have problems doing your daily tasks, try to sleep more (and yes have less wake-time to work) and see how it goes.
You are not a machine, you need to recharge sometimes, so plan lazy days when you do nothing. The key is not to make those days the norm. Plan them carefully. Best times are after you finish a project or start a new one. Or just inbetween when you are stuck.
Always be curious and mindful about what you want to do. Sometimes you miss something or discover things that makes the whole process more enjoyable. Experiment and try something new, maybe a function in a program or tool you never used or maybe there is a different approach to a problem. Be aware of this and open your eyes!
Mental stamina is what you use when you work with your mind. It empties and needs to refill with breaks. But it also needs to be trained. The better your mental stamina is the longer you can work. How you train it: Read more, exhaust it regularly (its like a muscle), meditate daily, think positive, focus without distractions/multitasking, learn to be patient, try to lessen your dopamine rush from digital devices.
If you want to do something it helps to find people that do the same. It can motivate you, you get feedback that is needed for improvement and it is really fun if you have other people doing the same. Find like-minded folks and do your things you want to do!
On day 12 I wasn't in the mood to do an Inktober post. Then I looked on my list of my productivity theme and found the "do something else". So I did! A little animation to be precise and it was fun/motivating to do. So if you are not in the mood to do your work mix it up a bit!
Trouble continuing your work or a project? Think about all the benefits you will get/have if you finish it or keep it up. This thinking motivates you not to stop.
This is a quote from Moebius and is for drawing, but I think it applies to other stuff too. To be completely creative (and be able to focus) you must first cleanse yourself of deep feelings, like hate, happiness, ambition, etc. These feelings are typically emotional prejudices that function as a block to creativity. Without those feeling you see things with fresh eyes and you can focus on your work.
Meditation is a good way to clear your mind and get more productive throughout the day. Helps you too with the emotion picture on top of this one, the being mindful post and the mental stamina training!
A good day for me is when I got into the flow. When you do something and you lose your sense of time. After those sessions I feel so good, it's always nice to get into deep work and just float away. Remember this when you are about to do something you maybe don't like. You will get in the flow if it isn't too hard and easy. Time will fly and you feel better after you are done
Don't put something off because you can't do it. The "can do" comes after you work on it for some time! Just start what you want to do and the ability to do it successfully comes with it.
Problems starting something? If it isn't bound by time use kaizen! The goal with this japanese improvement method is to do what you want to do every day no matter what and how long you want to. 1 minute is already enough, just do it daily and at the same time. You will build a habit with this and do stuff longer and longer. I used this when I wanted to do more exercises and read more. Those two things are now a strong habit of mine.
Sometimes projects are overwhelming. It helps breaking them up in smaller pieces even if it is not a big project. It gives you a good overview and makes the project look much easier to get done. Take one piece of your project and work on it, step by step. I always do this and for me it is so much more fun with all those little successes you get along the way.
The compound effect works over weeks, months and years. Everything you do will add to this effect. So if you work hard, even if you have downtimes it will add up. The key is consistency. Keep it up, don't give up what you want to do. This counts for your projects too. Even if you only write one page a day, in a year you will have a book. Try to keep this in mind if you have trouble working on your goals.
You don't need to have fun with every step of your project. Sometimes you are on an annoying part. Don't mistaken this with the conclusion that you don't like what you are working at. Search for the fun stuff and work towards it. For me it motivates me to finish an annoying step so I can work on the part that is more fun.
Remember to fuel your inspiration! Especially when you are into a slump. It gives you a nudge to start working but like motivation it can fade. It's the discipline that keeps you going.
You can't work with distractions! Set a time of your day when you keep all that stuff away that distracts you. Think about multitasking too. Maybe it distracts you more than you think especially videos, podcasts or music you play when you are working. It could be that you are more productive in complete silence. Try it! You dont have to work without any distraction all the time. Just some time of the day to focus on your task completely.
Always track and review yourself. How you are doing, what you can do to improve, if you improve, etc. You will see if you are doing enough, sometimes you just think that you are stagnant. Tracking and reviewing often motivates me to go on and stay on track.
Resistance is what hinders you doing your stuff. It won't go away, it will always be there. You need to learn to live with it, to go through it every day. It is possible and everytime you walk through this wall you get better at it. I recommend the book "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield for more of this.
The cycle of fear is "not doing enough => lack of results => fear" repeating. If you are not doing enough there is no result or progress. With no progress comes fear. Fear prevents you of doing work, therefore you lack of results again. It is a loop you will have trouble breaking out again. Remember this and work against this cycle if it starts to happen.
Part of productivity is always being honest to yourself. Maybe you are doing enough and you just try to justify it by lying to yourself. Or the other way around. If you are honest to yourself you see the problems how they really are. See if they are even there and get a clear view of yourself to work on it.
Goals and challenges are fun and motivating. I actually doing challenges every month for some years now! Sometimes for my art, sometimes for personal growth. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed. Regarding goals you can plan them daily, weekly or even yearly. If you have someone that has the same goals you can do challenges with them!
This evening I wanted to do some exercises. I was sitting at my desk and told myself: "Screw it, not today!" I stood up and went to get a glass of water. At this exact moment when I was moving I thought about doing some exercises again but this time the urge to not do it wasn't there. So after my glass of water I did it. Therefore if you are sitting on your couch and not in the mood to do stuff just stand up. Move! Some push-ups help too or go for a walk. Don't make those stupid decisions in an inactive position.
Remember to always treat yourself with a small reward. This will trick your brain to do difficult or boring stuff because it expects a little reward in the end. It can be something small you buy or a day off if you have finished a bigger project
Take your breaks! You can work much more if you do them. Don't see them as a waste of time because that's not true. It is a part of your working day as long as you don't take 15 min breaks every 10 minutes.