3 Tools To Push Your Creative Mind
You want to make all this stuff, but where is the time in the day?
Being a creative with a full-time job and somehow still taking some classes in college, I often find it hard to fulfill all of my creativity and desire to create in so many different channels.
Some days, I just “don’t have the energy”.
Because of this, I have been on the prowl for some good tools to help me push my creativity and push myself to actually create on a somewhat regular basis.
This is one that has helped me a TON. I have installed a number of productivity apps in the past few weeks to test out how they work with my life. That’s sort of the beauty of the classic “there’s an app for that”. There are hundreds of apps for pretty much anything you can think of, and sometimes there are even several apps that do the same exact thing with different UI, etc.
So, I’ve been testing quite a few of them and have come to decide that a couple have helped in my creative process.
- Coach.me (i.e. habit apps) — if you are on medium and haven’t heard of this, are you even reading any articles? This is a great app for creating and maintaining habits
As you can see, I have a number of habits I am either working on making (reading a book) forcing myself to do (instagram, youtube, blog post) or just trying to remind myself and maintain (weight in, go to gym).
This has worked tremendously well in bugging the hell out of me until I do my tasks. With reminders, you can set it up to bug you every day for every habit if you want. You can also set a weekly goal of how many times you want to do a habit (i.e. go to gym 5 times a week, upload 1 youtube video).
- Be Focused (i.e. Pomodoro Timer Apps) — if you are on medium and haven’t heard about pomorodo productivity, are you even reading articles? Yes, another Medium-famous productivity-enthusiast method is the pomodoro technique.
The thing I like most about the app of my choosing, BeFocused, is the widget it offers on iPhone. It is a quick (not to mention working *cough*) way to check on my timer if I need to and it allows you to skip any breaks; this is very important to me. As a creative I want to be able to let my mind go once it gets going, not be forced to stop for 5 minutes.
Otherwise, pomodoro is just a great way to keep on focus with tasks, and a good way to gauge how long you’re working on things.
- Google Calendar — If you’ve read a few of my other articles you probably know how much I love and rely on Google Calendar. I have used it for about two years and it has helped immensely with every part of my life. I add reminders to post on Instagram, Medium, YouTube, etc. every week and it’s another way to bug me into being creative.
One other thing that I will throw under “apps” is the arrangement of apps on my phone. About a week ago, all my apps were on one page stuffed into various folders. I hate to click into a folder, go into Google Photos, download a photo, open another folder, open Instagram and post a photo. That’s just one example of how much the folder system on phones can slow you down. Now, all my apps are out of folders in about 3 pages. I basically organized from most used/most important (bottom to top and first page to last page, more important apps towards the home button, etc.) and it has worked great.
2 Rid of Distractions
This may seem self explanatory, but getting rid of meaningless distractions can really help you be creative and live a more creative life. I did a purge of my YouTube subscriptions a while back wherein I unsubscribed from basically every daily vlogger and dumb entertainment channel where I would watch mindless content for hours. What was left was a subscription feed of creatives’ content: photography, filmmaking, tech reviews; arguably much more useful and valuable than another video with (not clickbait) in the title.
Since then, I have sort of stopped watching YouTube very regularly at all, and started really diving into series on Netflix and other streaming services. Some might consider this content, again, mindless. However, as a filmmaker, I love watching content that I can learn from and build my style. Thus, I think the switch in content I consume is a good one.
Likewise, I did a similar purge on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. It has helped a lot. When you follow and consume content of others chasing their dreams and crushing their creative goals, you are more likely to do the same.
3 Do What You Love!
This is also probably a “duh Avery” but sometimes we all lose sight of what we truly want. I want a career in film and video production, and so I do at least a little something towards that every day. Some days, you will do more than other days, that’s just life. There will still be days where all you wanna do is sit down and watch something that you can zone out to. And that’s fine. Actually, breaks are also good for creativity. I recently came off about 2 weeks of not uploading a video (or doing much real creative stuff) and now I’m full of energy for it again! That’s actually what inspired this article.
At the end of the day, if you aren’t doing what you love (at least in your free time) then you won’t be happy. And if you aren’t doing what you love because you “can’t find the time” or you “just don’t have the energy” maybe some of the things I mentioned in this article can help.
Do the Right Thing, Good Vibes Only, and NEVER stop creating.
On your way out I would love some applause if this article helped you! Likewise, if you think it would help a fellow creative, give it a share!