Raise your hand if you are a victim of Shiny Object Syndrome?…. ? I have some tips that just might make your life a little easier if you are looking to maintain your creative focus!
Let’s talk about it a little bit more… Do you find it easy to pick one project and see it through all the way to completion or do you have at least seven projects going on in varying stages of completion right now?
If you have Shiny Object Syndrome – you have trouble maintaining your creative focus… you may feel easily bored with large projects (even though they started out with good intentions!).
You might bounce around between multiple creative outlets or projects or claim to have multiple hobbies or an indecisive soul where you dabble in a little bit of everything.
As an avid quilter, you might find a new pattern that makes you get excited and dream a little bit with heart eyes! So, naturally, you buy it and immediately dive into it when you get home… even though you have multiple projects at home that aren’t quite finished yet still sitting on your work table – OR – You add it to your file drawer of other patterns that are on your “someday” list.
Do you have Shiny Object Syndrome?
If it does sound like you, it is totally ok!
As crafters, we all have a little Shiny Object Syndrome in us… we can’t help it!
In my case, I blame glitter as my main weakness. Literally “Shiny objects”.
…Oh, also anything with bright happy colors.
And pretty flowers, I like those too…
Wait… what were we talking about? Oh yeah, getting easily distracted and having too many projects going on to be able to maintain creative focus. Riiiiiight.
I have some advice for you today on how to Maintain Your Creative Focus!
Just so you know… this isn’t a “do it once, fix it forever” solution.
As an artist, and avid crafty girl at heart, I still struggle with this every single day.
BUT, I think that knowing your weaknesses and accepting them as a part of who you are can really go a long way in changing your habits and making sure that you adjust your daily life to help you reach your goals.
Hey! pin this image so you’ll be able to find this list when you need it!
Tips that help me:
1. Maintain a relatively clean environment around you
It doesn’t have to pass a white glove test!
Just think about all the times you’ve gone looking for your scissors and came across a magazine you’ve been wanting to read. Then, you pulled out a recipe from the magazine and made a note to call a friend about dinner next week. You look around some more and try to fold a few pieces of stray fabric from your last shopping trip.
Before you know it, 10 minutes have gone by, you may or may not have located your scissors, but you certainly let 10 minutes go by without productivity on your current project.
Assume that you had your sewing tools organized and you knew right where your scissors were located, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get distracted by the magazine and all the other wonderful things that you found along the way. You would just go get your scissors and get to work.
Time is a precious thing for us busy girls, right? Don’t set yourself up to waste a single second of it!
If you need a little help in that area, I created a workbook that will get your sewing/crafting space in tip-top shape! Through the course of Just25 Days, you determine and actually create the space of your dreams that WILL WORK FOR YOU! It is one of my most popular downloads. (PS – THIS link will get you a special 20% off deal!)
I also have several posts where I talk about organization and how to make the time spent in your sewing room more efficient.
- Fabric Storage: What Works For Me + A Video!
- Organizing your sewing/craft room with Dollar Store back to school sales!
- Office Supplies you can use in your Sewing Room
- Keeping A Clean Sewing Space: A How to
2) Decide what is important to you and prioritize it
If you have five projects that have been hanging over your head, put them in order of importance, and challenge yourself to work on them in that order.
Whatever you deem as “importance”. It could be:
- Needs the least amount of work to be finished
- The due date is the soonest
- The project I feel like working on the most?
I have done this multiple times in my Sewing challenges! It helps you work on your focus by keeping your attention on ONLY these projects until they are finished. (and you usually can reward yourself with something fun after… because it is more fun that way!)
It is a fantastic way to get things checked off of your to-do list and maintain your creative focus for a determined amount of time.
Check out more about my past challenges in these posts below:
- WIP & UFO Sewing Room Challenge
- Sewing Room Challenge!
- Part 2: The Sewing Room Challenge
- Why you should challenge your skills in quilting
3) PLAN for Creativity
I actually schedule my creativity time throughout the week – Just like I would a doctor’s appointment or a visit with a friend.
Some weeks there is less time to sew than other weeks (and that’s ok!).
I find that if I am intentional with my time, it makes it harder for me to justify wasting any of it.
Going through a rough day knowing that I have a scheduled date with my sewing machine the following afternoon makes things much easier and I know that I’ve made my sanity a priority.
4) What Brings The Most Joy?
Why did you decide to be a quilter?
Why do you work on crafty projects and bother with complicated projects that take both our time and our money?
For me, it is because in my very soul I believe I am an artist and I was put on this earth to create beautiful things. I enjoy it. It brings me great joy when I get to work with my hands.
When you’ve got a project that brings you joy, you’re naturally going to want to spend your time working on it. Keep your passion projects to only a few at a time and don’t allow for any more before you’ve completed them or you’ll feel overwhelmed and more likely to stray into other shiny projects.
5) Get Real Honest
*Note*: I saved this one for last because it is the most important one on the list, but it is also my least favorite tip. Sorry…
The easiest way to maintain your creative focus on the projects that you are currently working on is to put your head down and quit adding more things to your to-do list!
Hide the pen, put away your credit card, save it to a Pinterest board, and don’t give it another thought!
Let’s use this example: If you’re going to plan a small get together and have room for 4 couples at your dinner table… Are you going to invite 400 guests?!?
Obviously not! That would be ridiculous and a disaster.
When it comes to choosing the projects that you work on, be extra choosy with what you work on. Only take on what you can fit on your schedule right now…
Learn how to say no. I know, Easier said than done sometimes, but start working on it. It is an important skill to have.
You’re allowed to have multiple projects going on at the same time (if you can handle it) but there is no need overwhelm yourself so much that what you once enjoyed is now a major stressor in your life!
I hope you found these tips helpful! Let me know down in the comments below if you have any other suggestions on how to keep your creative focus!