Procrastinating all my life

I’ll admit it:  I love to procrastinate…  but who doesn’t!

I always find a good excuse: “I just got a great idea for a comic; if I don’t draw it now I’ll forget it”, “ooh, my desk looks super cute with this lighting! I’m going to take a pic and put it on instagram”, “it’s been a while since I’ve checked Dribble; I’m going to see what’s cooking over there”…

Recently, I decided to just stop feeling bad about it.  I have accepted it: I’m going to procrastinate all my life.  So, guilt, “get out of here!”.

All of the things I do when I’m procrastinating are things I LOVE TO DO and they help me improve my career in one way or another, so why stop?

Think of all the things you like to do that could improve your career even just a little bit and make them into your “procrastination activities”.  And if you’re trying to improve your English like me, Netflix counts!

This year remember all your gifts

Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas!

I’m already buying some gifts, but I keep forgetting my ideas, so I made this cute template to help me remember everything.

If you also need some help, all you have to do is hit the button and download the template!

Print it out and put it on your board. It will keep you on track with your Christmas shopping!

Download Christmas Gift List

What to do when your inspiration is gone!

If you’re a creative person you’ll know that there are days when you sit in your desk for hours and hours and nothing meaningful comes out. Here are some things that help me to bring my inspiration back.

  1. Writing down everything you’re thinking about

Our minds never fully turn off.. even when we’re sleeping!  Take advantage of the chaos in your thoughts and write down every single thing flying around in there.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense at the moment; your thoughts will start to lead you in a certain direction.  This strategy often helps give me direction during a creative block while deciding on my next design.

2. Read

This is a classic, but totally true. If you don’t feel inspirited today, pick up a good book and the inspiration will come to you. If not, at least you’ll be achieving that New Years resolution you write down every year but never actually do!

3. Watch a documentary

You probably are thinking “I already watch too much Netflix”. That’s probably right. Me too. But in this case, instead of picking something meaningless, watch a documentary about the topic that you have in your head right now (business, studies, children…) and let Netflix gives you another perspective.

4. Take a walk by yourself

When you walk for a while you’re just thinking, without any pressure, without any goals. Your only goal is to get to the other side or the other corner of the street, so it’s the perfect situation to relax your mind and forget about worries.  The quiet moments of a walk can spark the perfect idea in your mind.

5. Do a creative activity that it’s not your field

If you’re a writer, paint. If you’re a painter, play an instrument. Exercise your creativity in a different way and you may find yourself inspired again.

6. Get jealous

Get online and check out some amazing work from other people out there.  Look for the ones that you almost don’t want to watch because it’ll make you too jealous.  Do this long enough and you’ll be filled with drive and ideas to get better and make something cool!

7. Do some handy activity at home

Wash the dishes, iron some shirts, clean the house… something that makes you feel productive but doesn’t require too much thinking. You might find your mind wandering to just the right thoughts.

When we relax our minds and create those moments when we’re not “working”… that’s when the inspiration comes knocking! Then take out your notebook and jot it down!!

How to make an efficient to-do list to relieve stress

1. Make your to-do list at the end of the day

At the end of the day, you remember all the things you didn’t get done and all the things you really want/have to do. There are no more hours in the day and you’re exhausted. I know that feeling. That’s when the stress comes. Don’t worry, that’s what to-do lists are for! The moment you feel you have TOO MANY THINGS going on, start writing them down.

2. Separate your work to-do list and your personal to-do list

One of the common pitfalls of productivity is to make a to-do list that’s just too big. It’s harder to see everything you need to do, harder to compartmentalize, and at the end of the day you will likely only have completed 10-20% of the list, which leaves you feeling like a big fat failure! Instead, try making two or three smaller lists. This helps you more easily see what you need to do, and gives you a sense of success when you finish a bigger percentage of your tasks. When you finish the day a winner, you’ll get addicted and continue to win the next day’s battles!

3. Be realistic!

Don’t go crazy and start writing down every single thing you want to do in life. A to-do list is not a bucket list. Every time you think of something you want to add to your to-do list ask yourself, “can I get this done by the end of the week?” If the answer is no, don’t write it on your list! If you’re not going to be able to accomplish that task within maximum a week, that should go to your calendar or a longer term list. The to-do list should be simple.

4. Don’t prioritize your tasks with numbers

I used to work for an advertising agency in Spain and as you probably already know, advertising agencies can get crazy sometimes. I would often end up with an unrealistic to-do list of things that I had to get done for that month, so I would set up a meeting with my boss to try to help prioritize things. When I got out of that meeting I still had the same list but with a bunch of numbers on it. And guess what, about 10 things from that list where number 1 priority! Numbers in a to-do list can make you get stuck in one task that you maybe can’t resolve at that moment while you could be completing others instead. If you’ve been following the previous advice, all of the tasks that are now in your to-do list should be high priority anyways, so why number them? Just start getting things done one by one!

5. The vertical format is the best option

Now that we know how to make our to-do-list, let’s focus on the best format to use. Maybe it sounds unnecessary but where you write things can change everything.
If you write your to-do list on a loose piece of paper, you’re probably going to end up losing it. If you write it in one of your notebooks, you’re probably going to forget to look at it because a notebook is not something that we have open and in sight. The best option is to get a vertical notepad with no cover, so it’s always open. Then you can tear off the first page and start again as if you had a new notepad. This way you’ll have your to-do list in front of you all the time open and ready for you to write something down or to look at it.