You know you’re in for a busy week if its Friday afternoon and you’re already starting to feel that Monday morning anxiety. Before I head out for the weekend, I start jotting down appointments, meetings, calls and any creative project deadlines that are due by end of day Monday and as you start filling up the page, you begin to feel the anxiety build. You start planning the week ahead so you can map out any looming creative milestones for the week. Doing so helps you anticipate any curve balls and lets your thoughts start organizing themselves – in other words, you get your gears turning, and you can do your best to predict the week’s work flow. But how are you supposed to relax for the weekend if you are already worrying or feeling edgy about Monday morning and its only Friday afternoon and you’re still in the office (no tee time today)?
What if I told you that the creative anxiety you are feeling is actually the energy that you need to produce that next big idea. Its not a bad thing. Its actually your body producing natural creative juices. Turn that anxiety into Rocket Fuel. When you have a full week of tasks ahead you need to be alert, focused and sharp. As a creative, you thrive off that sense of anxiety because it fuels the creative process.
The problem with this Rocket Fuel is that for many people, it feels just like Fear. When it feels like Fear, you can actually shut down your flow of creativity and it can paralyze you. When you actually sit down to design that next big website or that new logo or sales presentation and you feel that anxiety, try to embrace it. It’s energy, and just like stage-fright, it can either be used for good (dynamic speech) or evil (blank-stare and frozen grip of death on the microphone).
Here’s how I handle Creative Anxiety:
- Organize my tasks in my journal
- Put on some good music (or no music at all)
- Comfort food, munchies (carbs/sugars) and a cup of coffee
- Wipe your desk, clean your area
- Organize your action figures into battle formation 😉
- Get a sketch pad and pencils out
- Log off Social-Media (gasp)
- Get busy! Start designing already
- Zone out & don’t forget to breathe
Before you know it, you’ve got something amazing staring back at you on your computer screen (hopefully). The good news is that your anxiety level should subside as you begin to check off tasks from your “To-do” list.
Whatever you do, don’t panic. Feeling jittery and anxious about a creative project or a busy schedule is a good thing, I can’t stress this enough. You just have to learn to harness that feeling and put all the energy into your work. If what you are doing is truly what you love, then this should be a piece of cake!
Ramon has over 19 years of experience in award-winning, market-proven, print collateral, marketing material, iphone/ipad app and website design specializing in corporate identity and branding. Ramon’s passion for entrepreneurial design was borne out of 10 years as Creative Director for Jay Walker at Walker Digital, the Stamford based idea laboratory and business incubator holding over 300 US Patents. Ramon served as Senior Art Director on the start-up launch team behind Priceline.com, a Walker company and invention. Most recently, Ramon’s logo and identity work was selected to be published in “Typography and Enclosures” the fourth book in the Master Library series by LogoLounge.
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