Happy 2013, creatives! Everyone is talking about goal-setting and intentions so I thought a post on feeling lazy and setting a routine would be a perfect start to a new year here on the Braid blog.

You see, a couple of patterns I’ve noticed in the creative entrepreneurs we work with:  
1. They all think they’re lazy
2. They all desire process and routine

The Lazy Factor

The Lazy Factor 
In a culture that glorifies 80-hour work weeks and six-figure salaries it’s almost impossible to not feel lazy. I think us creative entrepreneurs often feel lazy because our values don’t align with the nine-to-five hustle surrounding us – OR because we’re comparing our daily grind to someone else’s finished product. We think “if I could just put in a little bit more time” or “if I could try just a little harder my career would look so stylish and successful. I’d have an EBook, a workshop, and that super cool blogger in LA would be my new BFF. If I could just work a little harder and be just slightly more talented my life would look like Kinfolk.”

Or maybe that’s just me. But if this sounds familiar continue reading on. 

The Conundrum

The Conundrum
The thing I’ve found to be true is this ... “lazy” is essential to being creative. Even Albert Einstein said “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.” I mean... how many of your best ideas strike when you’re reading a novel, going for a run, in the shower, or even in your sleep? Oftentimes, it’s in the time and space that happens around the actual “work” in which creativity thrives. And when that space around the work happens haphazardly and all willy-nilly it feels like procrastination or downright laziness. But when the space around the work is structured or scheduled we call it R&R or down time. The truth is, you’re probably far from lazy. What you’re really feeling is the desire for routine. 

The Desire for Routine

The Desire for Routine
Every creative entrepreneur I know, and have worked with, desires process and routine. Process and routine are the antidote to laziness. I think of process as the methodical steps you take to solve any problem any time. The creative process keeps you from freaking out or feeling like you’ll never have a good idea ever again when it comes to doing the work. And routine is what gives our work and life a bit of structure. Routine and process, together, move us through the daily grind when all we want to do is wrap up in our coziest blanket, eat some dark chocolate, and watch a quiet Sofia Coppola movie. But what about the times when we don’t want to be full on “lazy” but we do want to check our Twitter, peruse Pinterest, write a blog post, read a book, watch a TED talk, work on some fine art, go to a yoga class, or even eat lunch? All these things sound pretty awesome, but they can make us feel scattered and lazy if we lack a routine. So the point is … develop a routine. It will make you feel productive during your work time and intentional with your down time.  

If the thought of developing a routine makes you feel tired here is a worksheet to help get you started with healthy habits, little rituals, and a schedule to keep you on track.

A Resolution for Routine

DOWNLOAD THE RESOLUTION FOR ROUTINE WORKSHEET

Now you have a plan ... a roadmap for a routine. Now commit to it.

Let us know on Facebook what your resolutions for routine look like. And sign up for our Letters for Creative Entrepreneurs (in the left sidebar on the Braid site) to see what kinds of resolutions for routine Braid is making in 2013. 

And if you’re a creative entrepreneur who often feels scattered and overwhelmed, be sure to register for our Braid ECourse:

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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Last week Kathleen talked about creative rituals to help get over creative anxiety. Some of our rituals include feel-good ones like running midday to refuel the brain and obsessive-compulsive ones like methodically setting up the margins and rules on a blank document to help overcome getting-started inertia. Jonathan Field’s book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance dedicates a whole chapter to this idea of ritual.

But there’s one blurb of a paragraph in there that we saw and immediately knew we wanted to expand into a visual branding exercise for creative entrepreneurs. Fields titles it “Identify Your Creative Orientation” and challenges the reader to “figure out which creative orientation fills you up and which empties you out: insight and big-idea generation, or refinement, expansion and production.”

Actions / Inspiration

 

Many Parts / Big Idea

Of course, like two tweens taking a quiz in a magazine, Kathleen and I immediately starting trying to figure out which orientation we were.  We both ping back and forth between big-picture mode and rolling-up-sleeves mode, but we decided if we had to generalize, that Kathleen is the big idea and I am more into the refinement and development of that idea.

Okay, another admission. Not only do we sometimes read just one or two sentences in a book and get a spark of an idea for a branding exercise... we also get inspired by these different kids activity books I have lying around, with these really cool drawing exercises. Because the truth of the matter is that kids are people, and most people (the neat ones) are still kids.

Included on my bookshelf is this giant activity book by the prolific Japanese children’s book author, Taro Gomi called Scribbles. He also wrote and illustrated, Everyone Poops.  Enough said, right? This guy’s life mission must be get people creatively unblocked. 

There is certainly a future 10 Minute Brand Exercise that’s gonna be born from the combination of Uncertainty’s business-book sense, and Scribble’s draw-it-out sense. In the meantime we just uncapped a Sharpie and did what Gomi’s book told us... and scribbled.

Okay, so back to the question. Which when you get stumped on a project or an idea, which creative method do you turn to? No cheating, you gotta pick one: honing in on the big inspiration or chunking it into tiny steps of execution? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!


Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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Since we’re in a futuristic kind of mood this week, here’s another ten minute brand exercise that’s a great followup to Past Present Future (if you haven’t tried that one already try it here.) See, I have two kinds of coping methods for uncertainty and doubt when venturing into the unknown, either with a big creative challenge or a life milestone or... oh let’s say starting your own business for the very first time. One, is I pretend like I’m a robot. 

Okay, I’ve only really done the robot thing maybe once or twice in extreme moments. This is more a personal coping method for stress. I just try to keep the emotions at bay and default to logic. Boop once for “no.” Beep twice for “yes.”   You know, kinda just to put things in perspective.

Two (and this one is less freaky and more frequent) if I’m about to venture into something new, I pretend like I’m in a movie. I usually do this while driving in my car to a soundtrack that helps me visualize how the three day film shoot I’m about to do in a different city is going to go down. Or how being an entrepreneur for the first time is really going to look and feel.

Pretending like you are in a movie is really like telling your own story before you get there. And it’s our inspiration for this ten minute brand exercise, Time Machine.

Time Machine Robot
Time Machine:
Imagine you’ve traveled three years into the future. When you look back and tell the story of your endeavor, it sounds something like this:
1. Once upon a time I decided to start a ____________________ business.
2. I wanted to be different than other _________ businesses who only ________.
3. I wanted to deliver ____________ to people who want ___________________.
4. It was a lot of work but found that people really loved our _________________.
5. They spread the word like crazy by sharing ________________________ about us.
6. Our most loyal fans are people who appreciate __________________________.
7. I’m glad our brand captured a sense of ___________ style and ___________ purpose.
8. Today, I think clients “get” that we stand for _________________________________.
9. Now I want to try “what’s next” by trying  _______________________________________.

Chunking your intent into these simple phrases is a really simple way to build your future story. Hopefully it starts to paint a more concrete (and simplified) future vision in your head. If you still feel you need some more perspective? Beep twice for “yes,” and try more of our ten minute brand exercises.

Steel your courage for your leap year, read this month’s newsletter Leap Foward By Looking Back.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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