In talking to many creatives online, I’ve realized that so many of us are blocked and stuck in paralysis. We have dreams and goals, but feel that it’s too far fetched, too difficult or too late to start working towards them.
I want to help us break through the false impression that success only happens with massive action and investment (whether it’s time and/or money).
I’m certainly not against the times in our lives when a major change certainly can kick us into action… but on a day-to-day basis, experience tells me that just 10 minutes a day can lead to success.
We often underestimate the power of incremental change and progress. Consider that 10 minutes a day is over 60 hours of time in a year. That’s like spending more than a month of business work hours – straight – on one project… and that is a substantial amount of time for many types of projects.
When I became a mom, I had to learn the hard way to make use of all the little bits of in-between time I had available to me. The luxury of giant blocks of free time are rare! And if you think about it, the availability of little chunks of time is much greater in our lives today. Waiting in lines, the transition times between errands and tasks, the few minutes before your day starts or day ends… lots of little pockets of time. It makes so much sense to learn to make use of them, rather than just letting them pass you by.
To give you some examples of how 10 minutes a day can lead to success for various projects and goals, consider this:
- Daily doodle/drawing/pattern/collage projects even with a quick 10 minutes means you will have 365 entries at the end of a year. Even if you skip days you would have still accomplished a lot. That is why I love 100 day challenges or daily routines of that sort. It’s a great way to develop a creative practice routine.
- Daily exercise like a set of crunches, lunges or stretching poses. It always seems like nothing, but if you actually take action for 10 minutes a day, you’ll be surprised how much more fit you’ll be after a year of practice. Again, even if you skip a few days, the results are still better than doing nothing. This kind of practice can be as simple as a 10 minute walk around your work building at lunchtime!
- Meditation for 10 minutes a day. It’s a great way to give yourself that calming, centering time. You’ll be surprised how this simple practice might change the way you feel the rest of the day! Not to mention, it helps when you are going through a difficult situation – deep breaths, right?
You might agree with the fact that daily routines are great, but perhaps have trouble keeping up. So how do you set yourself up for success when it comes to nurturing a daily routine?
- First you have to set up the goal or activity you are wanting to accomplish. Keep it simple and realistically possible for a short period of time.
- Then you have to simply make it easy for you to jump in and spend those 10 minutes of time when it comes along. Like having your sketchbook always ready and available. Or memorizing those exercises you want to do, so you can break them out anytime anywhere.
- The point is to set yourself up for success and just keep moving forward day by day, chipping away at it.
- Finally, don’t let a missed day trip you up. Think of every single day as a new start. Doing something sometimes, is better than nothing all the time.
Daily routines work for so many creatives and if you ask anyone who has achieved any kind of success, they will inevitably tell you it’s the slow and steady work of chipping away at the task.
If you need a bit of motivation, think of declaring your intentions in public or getting a partner or buddy who wants to do this routine with you. Accountability works and community motivates! Generally you can also keep your eye on the prize and visualize all that you will accomplish by the end of the year.
I’ve embarked on the #100DayProject, posting my simple pencil sketches on Instagram daily. It’s a small creative exercise, but it’s about keeping my drawing muscles flexed and turns out to be a fountain for inspiration. A simple creative play exercise can turn into a full-fledged idea and project!
Are you ready for creative success?
My friend Monica Lee is running her Smart Creative Style ecourse in March and I’ve mentioned before how amazing the entire process is! It’s really about deeply connecting with you and your own unique style to make sense of it all!
I’ve gone through the course several times and learn something new each and every time. If you are ready to get serious about your passions and dive into some soul searching goodness, join us!
What: Smart Creative Style is a Creative Business 101 course that leads participants through a series of lessons and mood boards that help them unearth their own unique look and style. With visual imagery coming at us 24/7 it is all too easy to water down who we really are. Businesses and brands need to have a distinct aesthetic voice and look to stand out now more than ever. This is a hands on 6-week game changing e-course for creative business owners to distinguish themselevs and tap into their originality.
Cost: $329 But there is a special –> (Early bird price of $249 ends Feb. 19 at 12pm EST)
When: Class begins March 9th and runs for 6 weeks – Early bird sign up is Feb 16th to Feb 19th.
Click here to find out more and register for Smart Creative Style!
My world has been sort of rocked by the Smart Creative Style e-course with Monica Lee. Despite the fact that I’ve fallen behind more than once (juggling work, motherhood and everything else) – I’ve still come to realization that I’m all over the place and need a serious style redirection!
Slowly but surely, I’m peeling away the layers and learning so much about myself. Looking back on what I’ve done and trying to be more strategic about what I will do in the future.
What do I really truly like? How should I be directing and “styling” my efforts? It’s not just regarding my artwork style, but my lifestyle as well – everything about me really. Am I honoring myself in all that I do? Does xyz effort align with my core values? What are my core values?!
Yup, lots of questions to be answered. But thinking about all these topics has helped to push me forward into a season of change. You might have noticed that I’m already starting to shut down my other blogs and consolidate here.
It seems that every so often, I go through one of these transformation periods of my life. Rather than gradual change, I need to just shake it up and start afresh. This time around it’s taking longer to put into action, but it’ll happen. I’m excited to move forward and feeling good about it. When something feels good, then I know that it’s best to trust myself and go for it.
I’ll be revamping my web presence, revising all my products and relaunching soon. All this before I leave for Christmas vacation… is it possible?
Well, it’s a challenge alright. Issued and taken. Wish me luck!
Even with so much going on in my life now, I previously blogged about enrolling in Lilla Rogers Studio School – a course called Make Art That Sells – as an investment in my own dreams and ambitions. I had been anxiously waiting for the registration to open and can’t be more excited for it to start up.
I noticed that some bloggers created an illustration in celebration, so I decided to follow along. A quick little digital illustration to express my excitement. That’s me totally pumped and ready to go to school – yeah!
With a newborn in the house it’s difficult to find time for myself… but I decided well before that I had to make time. That I would not “lose myself” so to speak. It’s been a challenging first month, but I’m optimistic that I can still be productive, even if it’s in bits and pieces.
I also went ahead and bought Lilla Rogers book – I Just Like to Make Things (Amazon link) – to work through in the meantime. Yup, you can see that I’m totally gung ho! I suppose, a huge part of success is taking yourself seriously and really putting ALL your effort into it. I’ve spent too much time sliding by, I think. Now that time is so much more scarce and precious, I seem to be rising to the occasion and becoming more efficient.
It makes me think of working out, when you are super tired but the instructor says just one more rep or push a little harder or just 8 more seconds. You push yourself and end up surprising yourself!
Amazing how much we can do, if we simply put ourselves to the test.
Do you ever stop and wonder why it is you need permission to go ahead and embark on a particular ambition of goal? What permission, why permission and from who?
It’s amazing how oftentimes we are the ones holding ourselves back. Maybe it’s fear – resistance of some kind. You wait and wait for permission that will never come – unless you give it to yourself!
I have realized that we need to change our perspective. We already have the permission to do what we want. Give yourself permission to follow your ambitions. Try it.
So I’ve been MIA doing the very important work of giving birth to our son on February 27th and diving into the duties of being a mom. Now I know what it’s like first-hand and it’s not possible to describe all the feelings I have inside. Suffice to say that it’s beautiful and amazing and whatever sacrifices – they are totally worth it. I amaze myself in that I have no urge to look back or analyze as I might have in the past. Everything is about possibility, happiness and looking forward to opportunity and the beautiful things to come.
Our new arrival is definitely taking up a lot of my time, although I’m already seeing the signs of a routine forming naturally. I could spend all day just staring at the little guy, but I realize there needs to be a balance. There is life as a mom, right?! I decided immediately to enroll in Lilla Rogers Studio School – Make Art The Sells – something I had already been considering.
I realize now how important it is to invest in yourself. It’s about believing in yourself as well. Moms need to have their own time and I still have ambitions and goals to work towards outside of family life. Recently, I’ve also realized how many of us try to DIY too much. It’s not always the best path. Why not reach out for help? Connect, learn, grow. The monetary investment for the course is already like putting a stake into the ground of commitment and I can’t wait to start showing the art that I have inside of me. Before the school starts up officially, I have a period of time to prepare, so things are going to be a bit here and there in tortagialla land.
Just wanted to thank everyone who follows my blog, subscribes to my newsletter and supports me through my shops. I really do appreciate it and looking forward to sharing more and more with you. Ciao ciao from Italy!
The talk of work-like balance comes up a lot in the corporate world and I was constantly trying to figure out what exactly that meant when I was working for the Mouse in cubicle land. When does work trump life or life trump work? Maybe I had to tally up the tradeoffs and make sure there was some kind of even playing field between these two arch enemies, work and life. But why does it have to be a battle?
After striking out as a creative entrepreneur, I realized that work-life balance is total bull. Yeah, you heard me. I really think it’s just the wrong way to approach the whole issue. Work and life are invariably intertwined – I mean, there is only one you. I think when you work for your yourself, you truly realize that. You can’t let yourself down on either side because you are the ultimate boss in work and life.
That’s why I believe in work-life integration, an idea I picked up from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. It’s not about one winning over the other. It’s about integrating work and life so they dance beautifully! We must be working towards our life goals as we do our work and finding overall satisfaction depends on work and life fitting snugly together.
You must change the way you think… it’s work and life… not work or life. Dedicate some time in thinking about your life preferences and how they shape your work decisions. There is no “right” way of working and living only your way, because we are all unique. Ready to end the battle between work and life and integrate instead?
Interested in more creative business wisdom? Preview The Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit by yours truly – packed with practical business information, printable artwork, worksheets/exercises and cute planner printables. Are you ready to commit fully to your creative business and take it to the next level?
I’ve been busy finalizing The Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit and very much appreciating feedback from my email subscribers and fellow clubhousers – thank you!
In the midst of it all though, I had to doodle up a little drawing for fun, because it’s sooooo cold here in Italy. The temperature dropped dramatically this week and I’ve been hesitant to even go out because of all the icey slippery spots outside. That’s what you get for living in a small town where roads aren’t necessarily cleaned up nicely and so many spots seem hazardous! It’s definitely been a challenge, especially with my 7 month baby bump 😛
However, there’s no sense in complaining about the situation. When you have no control over the weather, what’s the point in being grumpy, right? So I immediately thought of turning cold to cozy... so much better, right? Cold weather means hot chocolate, chestnuts roasting, snuggling in bed with my furbaby Westie and hubby. I suppose cold isn’t so bad after all.