Adventures in Card-Making

How to be more productive in 8 steps

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Procrastination map


While this “cartoon” makes you smile it probably makes you think about procrastination and productivity. These two opposing mechanisms affect all of us but especially crafters. The “product” we make depends on our ability to actually produce. The road to productivity is paved with distractions – weather, time, our feelings, illness and of course laziness!

Here are some ways to help:

  1. Negative self-talk – According to personal coach and author Tara Mohr, we often self sabotage our productivity out of fear allowing our inner critic to distract us from accomplishing anything that feels scary. It also plays a role in the way we approach our development as artists and crafters. In his book, “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat” by John Ortberg insists that fear paralyzes us from living. A little fear is a good thing but continual, deep-set fear stops any healthy confidence in ourselves. Thomas Edison tried  1000 times to create the light bulb. What if he gave up at the   1001 time?  Try this solution: In the moments of fear, try a little “TLC”. Scribbling affirmations on notes around your craft table – “I can do this”.
  2.  Some of us are more productive when we have a deadline looming in front of us. Some of us tend to put blinders on and try to ignore the inevitable. We tend to stress out, do a shoddy job, hurry through and/or give up.
  3. We tell ourselves we are too busy/sick/tired – Sometimes we really are the above but most of the time, it’s an excuse to do anything. We tell ourselves that “I worked all day and deserve a break” or “we mean to ___” or the classic “We’ll do it tomorrow.”
  4. We aim for perfection. There are always going to be artists or crafters who make the same thing that we do, only better (we think). Not anyone though can make it like us. All of us are unique and therefore our “widget” whatever it is, is uniquely ours (now where did I hear that before?!) It’s ok to try to make a better xxyyy just keep telling yourself that your spin on creating is on track.
  5. Too many distractions – We tell ourselves another “lie” when we make time for social media. Some email, Face Book, tweets , Pinterest scrounging are ok. We say to  ourselves that we are accomplishing something when we get involved first thing in the morning. However, the negative reactive part of our brain kicks in and we lose time when we surf.

So, before you totally get depressed check out these tips to become more productive:

  • Enter deadline dates on your calendar 2 days in advance.
  • Ask a friend to  email or text you to hold you accountable.
  • Hold off on early morning social media checking until after you’ve accomplished some of your “to do lists”.
  • Do bits of your “to do list” at a time, that way you get a break.
  • Offer a reward to yourself when a task is complete.
  • Set a time limit or goal.
  • Do the easy parts first.

Happy Crafting,