Now that fall has officially arrived, time to reflect on the summer.  The past few months have not been as productive as hoped.  This has many causes – low energy, limited inspiration and the usual glut of distractions.  Whatever the reason, my output was not as high as hoped and my organizational efforts have failed to create an acceptable level of results.

If you are not feeling creative, here is something to try.

Fortunately for me,  fall has always felt like a time for new beginnings.  That is why this month I have been putting my head down and getting busy, beginning with reevaluating how I organize my work in progress.

Sometimes, it seems that the full projects are too big and you need bigger blocks of time to even start.  When you have a period of low productivity or design mojo, that approach can be counter- productive, as I have been finding this summer.  So, it was time to shake it up and take a different stance.

The most important thing that I have done is to break up the items on my ‘in-progress’ list to component parts in a slightly different way.  For one thing, I have identified pieces that can be done with low energy and/or low creativity.    My list used to read items by identifying name or feature, usually broken down by the next step.  I have gone back to my strategic planning efforts and broken each of the projects down into smaller tasks AND have identified those that are quick and/ or easy.  I have even repackaged some of my projects from having everything for one thing in a large container to putting some of the quick – sometimes relatively mindless – items together in a bag I can grab when I need some progress .  For me, some of the examples of these low energy /creativity tasks:

In my sewing room:

  • cutting material
  • piecing blocks
  • quilting on quilts smaller than 30′ x 30″ (because then I don’t have to fight with the project in my machine)
  • practising free motion on 12″ x 12″ sandwiches
  • drawing appliqué patterns
  • watching online demos
  • hand stitching
  • sorting fabric and fibre

In the woodshop:

  • sanding / scrapping
  • stripping
  • staining
  • painting
  • measuring

Of course, what is easy or low stress will vary for everyone – or even the same person on a different day.  But these are a few of the tasks I have identified to get me going when I don’t feel like I can achieve a more ambitious list.  it has been working great for me so far and I have already checked off three big projects since the beginning of this month.  And, even better, often finishing one of the tasks on my ‘easy’ list moves me to move creative pursuits.

Do you have some low energy projects identified?  If not, I challenge you to try it.  What will you put on your list?  What other ways have you used to break down your projects and move things forward when you just aren’t feeling creative?

“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.”― Joss Whedon