I currently have a lot of opportunities, ideas, and random things on my plate.
Here are a few of the things I’ve got going on.
- Releasing a mid-century brush pack for Procreate with Brad Woodard on RetroSupply.
- Working on a better email series for RetroSupply.
- Putting the finishing touches on a Passive Income for Designers course.
- Debating going to Adobe Max.
- Practicing drawing.
- Trying to create special fall moments with all my kids.
- Using The Five-Minute Journal every day and night.
I can’t see what’s happening on your side of the screen. But I suspect you have a similar amount of things you’re trying to balance.
The problem is that when I try to execute all these ideas at once, I end up either:
- Doing a lousy job on the project.
- Being miserable while doing the project.
- Neglecting one of the projects and feeling guilty.
It took a long time before this occurred to me but the entire situation makes no sense.
I do this stuff to be happy, but it ends up making me miserable.
So how do we become more productive without feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and unhappy?
The answer is simple and self-evident.
“If you choose to do everything, you choose to do nothing.”
When we condense our creativity into one compact package of energy we see magic happen:
- Work becomes almost effortless.
- Our stress level drops (and dopamine goes through the roof).
- Projects get done fast. People wonder how we do it.
- So how do we choose what to work on first? Here’s the three-step system I’ve been experimenting with lately.
Step One. Choose two projects each week.
One that requires high amounts of creative energy. One that takes lower amounts of creative energy.
This week I’ve chosen to focus on the Passive Income for Designers premium course. That’s my high creative energy project.
My second project is releasing the mid-century Procreate brush pack. This is low creative energy. I’ve already made the brushes, and my friend Brad Woodard is doing the illustrations.
Step Two. Focus on your high creative energy task first and low creative energy task second.
High creativity tasks require a lot of energy, so work on them at strategic times.
For me, that’s the first thing in the morning. I wake up around 7:30 am and find I have approximately two hours of creative time. That means I can write copy, create videos, and come up with high leverage exercises for my students.
Later in the day, when my energy is lower, I focus on the low creative energy task. For the Procreate pack, that means basic stuff like:
Making social images.
Editing promotional videos.
Packaging the product.
Chatting with partners and affiliates.
Updating my website.
Step Three. Cut your to-do list in half and end on a positive note.
Human beings are horrible at estimating how much we can get done.
Whenever I write a todo list, I only get half of the tasks done. So instead, I’ve been writing my to-do list like I always. But at the end of the day, I am happy if I finish half of it.
It’s a little trick I play on my brain, and it works wonders. Finally, I always end my work for the day when I’m feeling optimistic. The result is a positive open loop that makes me excited to do more work the next day.
We can do all the things we want, but we can’t do them all at once. I can’t remember who coined that quote. But I find myself reminded how accurate it is every day.
What do you do to maximize your productivity? Share it in the comments and let’s create a list of productivity tips.