creative

Oxymoron: An Organized Creative

I’m a creative. I dream and scheme and write things everywhere. I’ll draw on any surface I can find if I have to get something out of my head, and I’ll stop what I’m doing to sing a song that I randomly started writing mentally. I’m good at rallying people around an idea, and I enjoy bringing people together through common ground.

I’m a creative. And I’m fantastically unorganized and inefficient. I lose everything and forget stuff easily, because my mind is a non stop windmill of thoughts. I often fail to follow through on things and get overwhelmed by the pressure of my character and what comes with it.

This is a problem. I’m a business owner now, and, oh yeah…. I’m an adult. I have a family and responsibilities. I’m a leader in my church community, and I wanna be effective. I’m a musician that actually wants to get my dang music into a physical form that people can listen to. I got a lot of -ish goin’ on, and because of my “creative” tendencies, my life is mostly a disaster.

So, I’ve been trying to change that. I want to be organized, no matter how against the grain it feels for me. Here’s some of what I’ve been doing. If you’re like me, you should try these things too.

Getting Things Done

Read this book. This man came up with a very hands on formula that helps you 1) get EVERYTHING out of your head and 2)organize it in a way that will facilitate getting everything that was in your head done.

Mini Composition Notebook

 

This is a tiny composition notebook, and the pages rip out very easily. It was only $1 at Office Max. I keep this in my purse, and as soon as I get a thought or an idea, I write it on a piece of paper. Even if it’s something like you need to get bobby pins from CVS, write down “Bobby Pins” on a piece of paper. Now it’s out of your head, and you can trust that it will get done because that piece of paper isn’t going to forget it.

Organizing Tasks

 

I made a little system next to my desk that organizes my tasks from most importance to least importance. I bought a project notebook from Walmart ($2.97), clips from Office max ($2.00 for a pack of 8) and little number tabs from the Target dollar bins, and put up four push pins on my wall. Each piece of paper has the title of my task, and the steps I need to take to get it done. I then number them according to their importance (whether that be because of time deadlines or because I just really want to do them) and then hang them up. Now I’m not stuck standing in the middle of my house trying to figure out what I should do first. I’m not even kidding when I tell you that I have literally stood in the center of my living room, petrified and not knowing what to do because I couldn’t articulate in my head what should get done first. Without organization, everything feels like it’s the most important.

What system do you have in place to keep yourself organized? Does it work? What about it can you change to make it better?

Getting Things Done.

At the beginning of January, I made goals for 2012 (as most people did), but this is the first time in my life where I actually wrote them out and displayed them. I really, REALLY want to be intentional and accomplish some rather large things this year. However, I know myself. And myself is not a very organized or disciplined self. I usually tend to be a whimsical, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of person that thrives on creativity…. when I feel like being creative.

Now how many of us are just like that, and how often do we actually get a good amount of stuff done? Haha. The answer to that is probably embarrassing, right? Oh, those of you that are so organized and proactive, how we envy thee (seriously though, I know I do).

So responsibility and maturity (along with other grown-ups that speak into my life) say that I need to overcome this weakness I have and get organized, so that my time is spent to its maximum potential. Apparently doing this will actually help me accomplish stuff (who knew?)

Here’s a few things that I am doing to develop this discipline that I encourage you to do if you are just like me:

-Read Jon Acuff’s stuff. Follow him on Twitter. Do whatever you can to be motivated by him. He is the author of “Stuff Christians Like” and the more recent book titled “Quitter.” A fantastic satirist and motivator, he will definitely encourage you to accomplish your goals and turn your dreams into reality through his writing and #finishyear.

-Follow Michael Dalton on Twitter. He is a pretty neat friend of Daniel and I, and he is constantly tweeting and re-tweetingĀ  creative and challenging words that help me get off my lazy butt.

-Come up with some kind of visual that organizes your daily, weekly and monthly goals. Here’s what mine looks like:

Nothing special to it right now. Just a dry erase board I swiped from church (just kidding, I asked my pastor) and some markers. I sectioned the board in to three separate parts: Today, This week, This Month. So far it is working out great, because it is helping me see the big picture. What I can do today will help me finish what needs to get done this week, which will accomplish the months goals which will finally help me meet my goals for the year. Now playing the guitar for an hour today doesn’t feel like a dead end because I know that this month I want to have two new songs written, which is two more closer to that full length album I want to finish before December.

So what tools and resources do you use to keep yourself organized and motivated?