Which is why they ALL end up as projects, vying for space in our work spaces and attention from our already maxed-out brains!
As creatives, we would never dream of asking an idea or opportunity to go away. Hence the cluttered in “cluttered creative!”
But full-to-bursting, maxed-out brains don’t do anybody any good – not us as creators, not the ideas and opportunities, and certainly not the people that long for and need our completed creations.
So, yes, find systems that work for you. By all means, declutter your desk (there’s a special kind of magic in that, and it’ll make you feel better!)
…when you’ve done all that and still feel like you can’t herd the cats into submission, try one of these methods to keep your projects contained:
When there’s too many things on the “absolutely must get done” list, try writing them on popsicle sticks and storing them in a flower pot. (Bonus points for adding a seed or a sprout to indicate how far along the project or task is.)
I imagine these as being like the little sticks you put in the ground to tell you what you planted where. They’ll grow either way, but at least now you know what it is!
(Side note: Worried that it’s a waste of time to make it pretty? Concerned that you might be partaking in the dreaded PROCRASTINATION?
But more often than not, the time spent on making things pleasing to the eye is also valuable down-time which allows the sub-conscious to make connections and creatively problem solve.)
I’ve used Story-Beads in the past for keeping track of multiple projects: one bead for my novel, one for blog posts, one for social media marketing, etc. A different bead for each project gives you a portable, hand-held system of keeping them organized, but also at the forefront of your mind.
I’ve also used Story-Beads to help me balance all the different aspects of my life: a bead for volunteering, a bead for parenting, a bead for business – all the different aspects clumsily strung together as a reminder that it might not look pretty, but it works. (Note, this set was short-lived and there is thankfully no photographic evidence of it. But for the time that it was, it was incredibly useful in figuring out how the elements of my life might fit together.
By taking ALL THE THINGS and turning them into concrete representations, you allow your brain to relax. And when it forgets and tries to remind you at inconvenient or inappropriate times (hello, 2am!) you can reassure it. Thank your brain for its vigilance, and remind it that you have a method for remembering now. For added proof, you can even point to your container – your brain will see it and know it to be true (because, evidence!)
There’s also an energetic explanation that gets a little woo-woo but the more reasons (layers) the better a practice works, so I’ll finish with this:
All these ideas are done with the idea of containing and organizing. That intention, combined with the symbolic acts suggested here (putting ‘em in a nest or flowerpot, hanging them on various strings) does something energetically.
It’s somehow more that just the sum of its parts and works wonders to soothe the nervous part of us that wants to do right by all these beloved projects.
So celebrate your boundless creativity and your eternal optimism, and contain your darlings so you can focus better, get ‘em finished, and get ‘em out the door!