Advertising
Advertising

Express Yourself – 5 Ways to Awaken Your Inner Artist

Express Yourself – 5 Ways to Awaken Your Inner Artist

As children, we would dream of drawing, painting, building things from scratch and living the dream with art. It was considered as something majestic and inspiring. Unfortunately, as we grow, this dream of living it up as an artist gets trampled by reality

The older we get, the more we realise that our occupation would have to be something more lucrative and quick to pick up. Art is not necessarily that, since it takes a lot of learning, practicing and overcoming obstacles in order to become even remotely successful; and the financial side of art doesn’t look promising, either.

For that reason, as adults we tend to work in other areas, those that are considered profitable, and, in a way, we put our creative side in the dark. However, no matter how busy we get, and our various obligations, we shouldn’t kill our creativity for the sake of other people and work. We should let it flourish, and enjoy every moment of it. Here is how it can be done, in five different ways to be precise. Some of them may just be hobbies, but they can also turn into jobs.

1. Start doing things

By sitting idly, waiting for things to come to you, you won’t achieve anything. In order to succeed and get the desired results, you will need to put some work into it. For example, if you want to be a painter, graphic designer or similar, start drawing. Buy a notebook and start creating figures, drawings and learn various techniques.

Even if your skill level is not perfect – do it. Fear never helped anyone, and it will only hold you back. Therefore, get down to work, and start creating.

Advertising

Moreover, if you like writing, start writing sentences, no matter how random they are. You could start off with a journal, or simply by putting your thoughts on paper. Through time this can evolve into something longer and more complex, like short stories.

Eventually, you can transition into running your own blog. First of all, it is easy to create a blog, even with no real coding knowledge, and can even be successfully monetized – if done right. The best part is that you can write about any subject you want, like fashion, personal stories or comments on life in general.

2. Find inspiration around you

image01

    One thing that will surely get you started is inspiration. Whatever you want to do, whether it is painting, singing or writing, you will need to start from somewhere, and that point is the small “a-ha!” moment, when the light bulb in your head turns on. To find this stimulus, you can do many things.

    For example, start traveling. Nothing provides more inspiration than discovering the world, with all its many cultures and diverse people. Actually, there is no need to leave your home country; you can also explore your country by going on weekend trips to lakes, mountains or other cities. There are beautiful locations all around you, at every corner.

    Advertising

    Other than traveling, just enjoy life. Spend time alone, with friends or meet new people. Sharing thoughts with others could give you new insights into their worldviews and ways of thinking. From this, you could create so much, and such gorgeous art. After all, your art is the reflection of your life.

    3. Try something new by attending courses about it

    Have you been interested in something for years, but never had the guts to try it out? Well, now is your time. You can sign up for various classes about cooking, sewing or any other skill you can think of. Whatever it is, it will certainly help with making your creative juices flow.

    For example, you could attend a photography or a writing workshop. No matter if you already possess certain skills, going to these classes could help you learn something new or awaken some old, long-forgotten skills. Moreover, it gives you a nice base to start from as a rejuvenated artist.

    Unless you push towards it, creativity will never come to you. Therefore, do not be afraid to try new things, and learn about the ones you are already familiar with. Who knows, you may find new and better ways of expressing yourself, and starting something fresh.

    4. Start doodling

    Let’s say you want to perfect your drawing skills because you want to become an artist. Well, a good starting point would be to start doodling in your notebook. Actually, you might be already doing this, while waiting for time to pass, talking on the phone or similar situations. The action is oftentimes involuntary, but it can result in some amazing sketches. Not only is it good as a distraction, it is great as a way of improving creativity, and an exercise for artists.

    Advertising

    Your small drawing could turn into something bigger. Imagine that you doodle the same thing over and over again, every time. Eventually you would become an expert in those particular types drawings, which could then be turned into a profitable business.

    For example, you could be great with typography. You could turn this random doodling into a proper job of designing signs, posters, making invitations or a bunch of other stuff. Not only would it be lucrative, but it would also help you become the artist you’ve always wanted to be.

    5. Read books, listen to music and keep learning

    image02

      Lastly, the oldest and the best ways of finding yourself in the artistic world would have to be these: books, music and education. There is so much information you could gather from there, but you would also become more creative along the way. For instance, reading books leads you to a variety of different worlds, both real and unreal.

      In a way, you live a thousand lives and travel a thousand journeys. From all that, you learn, develop as a person, and develop as an artistic personality. Music has the same effect. Just think about how much you listen to it in your everyday life.

      Advertising

      Some people cannot go without music, at all. They listen to it while commuting, while working, while sitting at home. Music provides inspiration, and an understanding of emotions. It is a healer and a teacher, at the same time.

      Finally, no matter your age, or how busy you think you are, you should never stop learning. Education is the most important part of your life, and it should always be encouraged. You could read educational books, attend classes – online classes count, as well – go to workshops, get more diplomas, etc.

      The best thing about education is that it can come from any interaction and any action you do. For example, you could learn a new thing just by talking to a friend or a colleague. You could also gain new knowledge by watching documentaries. The point is, knowledge is all around us. All you have to do is be willing to take it for yourself.

      Creativity doesn’t come with birth – it is learned and nurtured, throughout your life. To be an artist takes time, it takes skills and, most importantly, it takes love for what you do. Therefore, if you truly believe in art, pursue it no matter what.

      Forget about the naysayers, and obstacles; they can be surpassed and forgotten about. Move forwards and do what you love. That is all that matters when expressing yourself and becoming an artist.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/markusspiske/ via pexels.com

      More by this author

      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

      50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them 5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship 8 Fun and Unique Birthday Party Ideas for People in Their 20s 50 Cleaning Hacks for Your Home That Will Make Your Life Easier 40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

      Trending in Productivity

      1 How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work 2 Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 5 How to Concentrate and Train Your Brain to Focus Better

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Published on January 16, 2019

      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

      We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

      You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

      You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

      That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

      Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

      1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

      Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

      We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

      To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

      At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

      The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

      2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

      Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

      The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

      In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

      It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

      It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

      Advertising

      So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

      • Are you a great strategist?
      • Are you an effective planner?
      • Is Project Management your strength?
      • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
      • Are you the ideas person?
      • Is Implementation your strength?

      Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

      3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

      One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

      Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

      Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

      Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

      4. Take Time for Planning

      “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

      One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

      You can take the time to think about:

      • What’s the purpose of the project?
      • How Important is it?
      • When does it need to be delivered by?
      • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
      • What are the KPIs?
      • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
      • Who is working on this project?
      • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
      • What tolerances can I add in?
      • What are the review stages?
      • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

      Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

      5. Focus on Priorities

      Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

      Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

      One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

      1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
      2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
      3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
      4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

      James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

      Advertising

        The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

        If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

        If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

        6. Take Time Out

        To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

        If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

        Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

        In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

        Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

        7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

        Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

        I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

        Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

        If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

        8. Stop Multitasking

        Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

        So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

        When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

        Advertising

        If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

        9. Work in Blocks of Time

        To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

        I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

        Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

        Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

        Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

        Then take another 10-minute break.

        Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

        By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

        10. Get Rid of Distractions

        Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

        “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

        Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

        If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

        11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

        You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

        Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

        Advertising

        Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

        12. Take a Time Audit

        Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

        Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

        You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

        Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

        Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

        At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

        If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

        13. Protect Your Confidence

        It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

        When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

        Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

        When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

        Final Words

        A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

        The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

        If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

        Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next