Out of Sight, Out of Mind
As a creative “idea person”, I find that one of my most difficult time management issues is keeping track of what I’m working on - since I’m usually working on at least ten different projects at a time, all of them involving individual tasks that compete for my attention.
My most pressing time management issue really relates to managing this creativity, or as Jim Estill would say, LEADING this creativity. I find if I don’t lead it, it will definitely lead me. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing…but not when I want to accomplish specific goals.
The trouble with creativity is that it’s not sequential – unless your specific brand of creativity naturally involves thinking logically and sequentially…for example, if you happen to work as an engineer or lawyer. As it turns out, I’m not wired that way.
As an idea person, I seem to spend a ton of energy just trying to impose a rational order on my thoughts -sometimes so much energy, that it’s hard to have some left over to get things done in the real world. Over the years, I have spent countless hours seeking out systems that will help me to work more efficiently with my creativity.
Hmm…”efficient creativity”…there’s an oxymoron for you. Those two ideas blend about as well as oil and water. “Creative efficiency”? Perhaps that’s a little more possible.
Now, people pay attention to different kinds of things. Some of us are “visual” – paying attention to what we see. Some of us are “aural” – paying attention to what we hear. Then there are the kinesthetic folks, who pay attention to touch and body sensations. If you want to figure out what you tend to pay most attention to, check out this site...
Anyways, I’m definitely visual…if I can’t see something, it’s at least somewhat off my radar. So part of becoming efficient with my creativity has involved setting up systems that allow me to see what I’m working whenever I need to, to get back into focus.
I’ll describe some of the visual systems I’ve developed to keep track of things over the next while in this blog.