Last week I wrote about how the benefits of creativity aren’t always enough to get us to finish a project. Sometimes the mental stamina needed just isn’t available. So what do you do when it’s not enough?
Give Yourself a Gift
Promise yourself a reward. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It just needs to be special to you. How you choose what to give yourself is a very individual matter and depends on both your interests and your budget. It doesn’t have to cost a thing. Maybe you give yourself permission to sleep in or have a long bath instead of a fast shower. Maybe it’ a small purchase. It could be a new nail polish or a chocolate bar. Maybe a book you’ve wanted to read for a while or a trip to a museum. Something you love, but would normally deny yourself.
Match the reward to the difficulty you’re having.
No one knows how much you’re struggling but you. Some people might say it’s just one painting or just a rough draft, but it can feel like an insurmountable obstacle to you. In those cases you might want to break the project into little steps with little rewards. Candy is traditional, but it has its drawbacks. Perhaps time to read a chapter of a book would be healthier. You might even want to set a dollar or time value to each step and give yourself a bigger reward when the project is finished. That’s what I’m doing this month. For every blog post I write, plus a few other things, I put aside a few dollars for a game I want. (Arkham Horror, the Card Game, if anyone’s curious.)
The important thing is to decide what a project is worth to you, and pick a reward that matches. Remember, it doesn’t have to have a dollar value. Time and experiences are just as important. I’ve found this concept really useful, and I hope you do, too. Let me know your results in the comments!