What’s the worst case scenario? I’m mean, really. How bad could it be if creativity isn’t focused? Let’s start with the story about how I wasted the better part of last year, jumping around to different creative ideas. Then let’s talk about how I tried to do too many things at once, resulting in me not reaching any of my crocheting goals. That’s a great story.

It’s also a true story. I’d jump on each idea as it came to me. It didn’t matter that I was smack dab in the middle of doing something else; something that required my attention. Nope. Just call me Spontaneous Stitcher… actually, don’t. I probably won’t answer. I would just start the new project. Then I’d brainstorm on it, and it would flop in my lap after I realized that I was just crocheting ideas… and wasting my time.

Some of the ideas were cool though… see the monster yarn bag below. Also a flop of an idea

Monster yarn bag distraction
I must have wasted 3 weeks on these. I only made two, but they’re ridiculously expensive, because they take forever. I should have been finalizing the original Larry Monster crochet pattern (MONTHS AGO) and getting it to my testers. Nope. Waste of time.

I have 3 projects, all in some stage of completion (not including my weekend personal project), going on at once. This is my normal. This might not be your normal, but it seems to cover my need to jump around. There are just boundaries to the jumping, which is satisfying my inner 4 year old. Doesn’t that make things take longer, Jess? Yes, but I’m okay with it… doing what makes me happy and all.

Right now I have the Larry Monster crochet pattern off for testing and the finishing work for that (1), my zombie doll(s) redo and pattern that goes with them (2), and I’m making a doll version of my Patreon puppet, which also has the finalization of its crochet pattern. I’m happily occupied with all of it, and I’m not bored with any of it. Once one of those projects is COMPLETELY finished, I can start the next item on my master list (which doesn’t exist in its final form yet) of things to crochet (Jackalackackie Hat redo).

Various crochet works in progress
lLarry Monster crochet pattern (1), Zombie doll(s) redo… the original doll is being stitched together (2), and another Patreon puppet/doll for the doll version (3). THIS IS PLENTY TO DO AND KEEPS ME FROM GETTING BORED WITH SOMETHING.

There are “rules” that help me focus the ideas and keep everything moving forward in an orderly manner. If I follow these rules, things tend to work out well. Things blow up if I don’t follow these rules… mainly me.

  1. Only 3 projects can be worked on at a time. NO EXCEPTIONS (tough love for myself).
  2. I can move onto a new project when one of the 3 projects is COMPLETELY finished. If it’s a new pattern, that includes the website work, listings, testing, and whatever else I need to do for my crochet patterns… every single step of the project.
  3. The weekends are for personal projects only. No KBG work is allowed to happen. This is helping me reset my brain and get some sweet crocheted/knit pieces out of it too. Yes. Knitting is happening on the weekends sometimes. More about that later…

I could improved my system by adding a few simple steps.

  • Everything should be right in front of me. I work out of 3 notebooks (also for another time), but I don’t see what I need when they’re closed. Keeping everything out will be a big help.
  • I need a master list of projects. Every time I have a great new idea, it should go on the list. If there’s a visible list, it’ll be able to better plan what I’m doing and where I’m going. Bonus: at the end of the year I’ll have a visual of how much/little I accomplished.
  • On the subject of master lists, I need a better checklist for what each project needs… depending if it’s for a new crochet pattern, kit, doll, wholesale, etc… Lists make everything better in my world. I’m a little scattered over here.
  • Add a monthly calendar. I’ve been using a bullet journal-esque type of daily to do, and it’s been really helpful. (Mine isn’t at all fancy… usually just a list of what needs to be done with a quote that makes me feel awesome… a few days at a time). I’m losing track of what needs to be done in the future, and due dates are really important. A calendar would help immensely.
  • Checking in with ideas, consolidating random notes to the lists, and keeping organized are pretty important. I can do more of all of these.

What does everyone to do to help control the creativity? Do you have rules too? What’s the number one hardest part of all of this creative organization for you? (Mine is organization. I’m a mess.)


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4 thoughts on “Focusing Your Creativity To Become More Productive (What’s Working for Me)

  • October 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I forbit myself to start a new knitting- or crocheting project until the already started one is finished. That’s not always that easy: at this moment my head is full of idea’s for smaller projects but that voice in my head says very firmy: no! Finish your scarf first!
    Ii’m knitting a scarf with a lot of cables and it’s going sooooooo sloooooww!!!! And I really would love to knit some colorful fingerless gloves!

    • November 1, 2016 at 7:41 am

      I hear you! It’s great you are able to make yourself do one thing at a time. I’m working on that master list this week, and filling it up with all of the little things I want to make in the future.

  • October 28, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Oh Jess, I can so relate to this right now! Between school, freelance writing, two Etsy shops, and pattern designing…it all gets overwhelming so when I see a shiny new pattern I’d like to try I start it right away to distract myself from the other stuff. That ends up creating even more stress and chaos! And nothing has really been getting finished. I have been doing a giant brain dump into a list all week, and next week I am going to look at the brain dump and set goals. Once I do that, it will be easier to slot things out in my calendar so that I end up working on the right things (I use a Franklin Covey planner, which is built for exactly that). I am going to try to limit myself to one “work” crochet project, one personal project, one writing project, and one graphic design project at a time. We’ll see how it works. 😉

    • November 1, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Good luck! This is always such a hard area to work with when I’m creating. I’m finding that rules work really well for me.

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