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Productivity for Creative People

Productivity for Creative People

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Productivity for Creative People

Lunghezza:
128 pagine
1 ora
Pubblicato:
Sep 12, 2016
ISBN:
9780957566484
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

“Of all the writers I know, I have learned the most about how to be a productive creative person from Mark. His tips are always realistic, accessible, and sticky. It’s not just talk, this is productivity advice that will change your life.”

Jocelyn K. Glei, author and Founding Editor, 99U

We are living in an age of unprecedented creative stimulation—via the internet, social media, all-pervasive technology, and an “always on” working culture.

Which means we are living in an age of unprecedented distraction from focused creative work—from all the same sources.

First, computers and the internet transformed the work we did at our desks. Then along came smartphones to transform our social lives and make our work mobile.

Now we have our work, our network, our media, and our social media with us wherever we go. Augmented Reality (AR) is layering more and more virtual elements over the physical world we inhabit, and Virtual Reality (VR) promises us escape to unlimited virtual worlds.

But creators are increasingly discovering a downside to the brave new world:

* countless distractions and interruptions
* endless email
* pressure to keep up
* anxiety about falling behind
* difficulty concentrating
* aches and pains from too much time at the keyboard

Dig a little deeper, and the biggest concern for many creatives is a nagging sense that their most important work is being left undone.

If you’re excited by the opportunities of the creative age, but worried about the effect of interruptions and digital distractions on your work, Productivity for Creative People has been written for you.


For the past twenty years creative coach Mark McGuinness has helped hundreds of creatives like you to overcome these challenges.

A poet and creative entrepreneur, he is the author of Motivation for Creative People and Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success. He is also a co-author of the bestselling books from 99U, Manage Your Day-to-Day and Maximize Your Potential.

Mark’s latest book, Productivity for Creative People, will help you carve out time for your most important work – while managing your other commitments. 

You will learn:

* How getting organized can make you more creative
* Why multitasking doesn’t work
* How to tell if you’re really overloaded – and what to do about it
* The importance of panicking early
* How doing nothing can make you more productive
* The crucial difference between incubation and procrastination
* How to carve out time for your most important creative work
* Why boredom is necessary for creativity
* What to do about all that email
* How to nap like a fighter pilot
* A simple technique to reduce smartphone addiction

“Many creative people are busier than ever, but rarely get around to the work that truly matters. Mark McGuinness offers solid and practical advice for busy creative people who want to make their mark on the world.”

Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative

“Authors now have amazing online tools to reach readers all over the world, but those same tools can distract us from the focused creativity that we love and that we need to write better books. In Productivity for Creative People, Mark McGuinness outlines a way of working that will help you sort out what’s really important and achieve your creative goals, while still managing your daily tasks. Recommended for any author who is feeling overwhelmed.”

Joanna Penn, bestselling author and award-winning entrepreneur. TheCreativePenn.com

Pubblicato:
Sep 12, 2016
ISBN:
9780957566484
Formato:
Libro

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Productivity for Creative People - Mark McGuinness

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INTRODUCTION

A brave new world for creators?

We are living in an age of unprecedented creative stimulation—via the internet, social media, all-pervasive technology, and an always on working culture.

Which means we are living in an age of unprecedented distraction from focused creative work—from all the same sources.

First, computers and the internet transformed the work we did at our desks. Then along came smartphones to transform our social lives and make our work mobile. Now we have our work, our network, our media, and our social media with us wherever we go. Augmented Reality (AR) is layering more and more virtual elements over the physical world we inhabit, and Virtual Reality (VR) promises us escape to unlimited virtual worlds. The pace of change is exhilarating, overwhelming, and unstoppable.

Personally, I’m an enthusiast for the new era. Its technology and social shifts have opened up a world of opportunity—enabling me to publish my writings to a global audience, work with clients all over the world, build a thriving business as an independent writer and coach, and make new friends to share the journey. Not to mention all the wonderful literature, music, movies, and other art and entertainment I now have at my fingertips. Maybe you have a similar story to tell.

I also have personal experience of the downside of the brave new world: countless distractions and interruptions; endless email; pressure to keep up; anxiety about falling behind; difficulty concentrating; excruciating repetitive strain injury (RSI) from too much time at the keyboard; and a nagging sense that my most important work was being left undone.

If you’re excited by the opportunities of the creative age, but worried about the effect of all those interruptions and digital distractions on your creative work, this book is for you. It’s a collection of insights, tips, and techniques gleaned from my own practice as a poet and nonfiction writer, plus 20 years spent coaching creative professionals like you.

The book started out back in 2007 as a series of articles about time management for creatives, published on Catherine Morley’s Business of Design Online website. The series was well received, so I made it available as a free ebook, Time Management for Creative People—which was when I realized I’d struck a chord with the creative community. It was enthusiastically downloaded and shared on social networks, and picked up by influential blogs including Copyblogger and Lifehacker. I lost track of the numbers after 100,000 downloads, and I’ve lost count of the number of people who have emailed, commented, or tweeted their thanks, or told me in person that the ebook changed the way they worked for the better.

After publishing the ebook, I continued to write about creativity and productivity on my own blogs, Wishful Thinking and Lateral Action, and in my column at 99U.com. My own working habits and ideas have evolved over the years since I published Time Management for Creative People, and the pace of technology has accelerated, making the challenges for creators even more acute. So I thought it was time for a new edition. For this version I have extensively revised and restructured the original material, and added to it from my other writings on the subject.

The result is Productivity for Creative People—a guide to getting creative work done amid the demands and distractions of 21st century life. I hope it helps you create time for the extraordinary work that only you can do.

How to use this book

Let’s start by making one thing clear:

This is not a productivity system.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to creativity, so there is no point trying to devise a rigid system that will allow for the idiosyncrasies of your unique creative talent, work situation, and working habits. Instead of a system, this book gives you a menu of options, a set of parts for designing your own way of working. I invite you to read through the book, test the ideas in your own working life, and take what works for you.

The book is divided into three sections, taking you through a process of, firstly, reflecting on your working habits and big-picture decision-making; then carving out time for your most creative work; and finally, keeping up with the rest of your work.

Part 1. Laying the Foundations

Unexamined assumptions—about your true priorities and the most effective ways of working—are often the biggest barriers to high-level performance. Grasping some key concepts and getting clarity about your priorities will have a huge impact on your working life.

The chapters in this section challenge some common myths about creativity and productivity, and will help you make decisions about your goals and ways of working that will make everything you do more effective.

Part 2. Doing Creative Work

Whether you’re an independent artist, a freelancer working for clients, or an agency or studio creative, producing outstanding creative work is the source of your greatest fulfillment and generates the most value for you (artistic, financial, and otherwise). It needs to be your top priority.

The chapters in this section will show you how to devote your most valuable time and energy to your biggest creative challenges—while overcoming your inner Resistance and fending off external distractions.

Part 3. Dealing with the Rest

You can’t spend your whole week working in the creative zone, tempting as it might be. So you need to have reliable ways of dealing with incoming demands and more mundane tasks.

The chapters in this section will help you build your own robust systems for capturing ideas and commitments, never forgetting any of them, and doing everything you consider important within a reasonable timeframe. Not only will your systems make you more productive, they will free up your mental bandwidth for more creative pursuits.

There are a lot of ideas in this book—don’t try to implement them all at once! Make one or two changes at a time, test them for at least a week, and see what results they produce for you. You can then layer in more changes, tweaking and adjusting your work habits and systems—to the point where they become effortless and automatic, leaving you free to focus on the work in front of you.

LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS

CHAPTER 1

Get organized, get (more) creative

Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, in order to be violent and original in your work.

Gustave Flaubert

So you start the day full of enthusiasm. You’re excited about a new creative project and itching to put your ideas into action. Firing up your laptop, you see the familiar cascade of new emails in your inbox, on top of the ones you didn’t get round to answering yesterday. Scanning through the list, your heart sinks—two of them look as though they require urgent action. You hit reply and start typing a response . . .

Half an hour later you realize you’ve been sucked into the email zone, where you have been sidetracked by interesting links sent by friends, and are writing replies about issues that aren’t a priority for you. You close email and get back to your project . . .

After a few minutes you’re really enjoying being in your creative flow—when the phone rings. Somebody wants something from you, something to do with a meeting last week. You rummage through the papers on your desk. You can’t find your notes. Suddenly your heart jumps as you lift up a folder and find an important letter you’d forgotten about, that needed an urgent response—several days ago. Hang on, I’ll get back to you, you tell the person on the phone.

You put the phone down and pick up the letter—this needs sorting out immediately, but you remember why you put it off—it involves several

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