There is an email newsletter that I subscribe to that I highly recommend called The Hustle.
One of their recent articles outlined some fascinating data that shows how gym memberships can be a bad investment.
To sum it up, human nature is such that we are in a constant battle with our future selves. Today we want results. We want to look good and be healthy. We want it so bad we sign a gym membership contract. The problem is, “future you” is too busy, too tired, too lazy to follow through.
From the article:
63% of memberships go completely unused.
82% of gym members go to the gym less than 1 time per week
22% completely stop going 6 months into their membership
31% say they never would’ve paid had they known how little they’d use it
How does this apply to becoming a better filmmaker or photographer?
Well, it’s exactly the same battle. How many times have you got the urge to create something and you end up in front of the computer surfing YouTube for “inspiration.” The mindless scroll on Instagram has won out over actually picking up a camera dozens of times.
It happens in our education as well. Have you ever purchased a online training course and then failed to review it? Or worse, you watch the training but never take the time to implement what you’ve learned.
Here’s some tips I’ve picked up that help me over come this creative rut.
Disconnect. Go for a walk. Turn off the computer. Turn off the cell phone and leave it behind. Physically separating yourself from these distractions can allow your mind to wander, in a good way. I find I do some of my best thinking in the shower, isolated from distractions.
Be a finisher. Quit jumping from one project to the next without completing the first. If it helps, create a list of projects you want to complete and the steps necessary to complete each one. Don’t move on from a project until it’s finished. If none of your projects are urgent, pick the hardest one and complete it first. If you can systematically finish your projects you’ll free up time for progression instead of wasting time floundering. Organization is the key to get there.
Don’t expect perfection. It’s better to complete a project than to never finish it because it’s not “perfect.” Your work will never be perfect. It’s an impossible standard. Finish a project to the best of your current ability. Then later, if you feel you can do it better, start a new project.
Measure results. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you track results. Set attainable goals and work towards them. It feels good to reach milestones and cross them off the list. It’s impossible to see how far you come or how much you’ve improved if you’re not tracking what you are doing. Keep a journal or blog to document success or failures.
How do you stay motivated?