First…Many or One?
Do you concentrate better with several projects going at once?
Or, do you have better concentration while working on one thing at a time and completing it before moving on to the next project?
Neither manner is wrong nor is one better than the other.
But, not knowing which works best for you can cause a loss of momentum and hinder you from completing a project.
So, think about how you concentrate best. Which drives you crazy – with boredom or with too much at once?
For a very long time, I tried the one-project-at-a-time style. But while I could spend several hours on a single project with laser-like focus, the next day I didn’t want to touch it. I took this to mean that I was on the wrong track with no real interest in the project.
Not so. Writing a nonfiction article one day, a children’s puzzle the next, followed by revision of a beginning reader, more work on the article – this is how I work best.
It turns out, switching between projects helps me keep my enthusiasm for each fired up. This may be you.
Whichever way allows you to be the most productive is the way you need to organize your creative work.
Once you’ve decided it’s okay to work on more than one project at a time, then work without a nagging sense of guilt that you ought to be doing it the other way. And vise versa, of course!
Put aside all thoughts and distractions whether you have five minutes to work or three hours.
Keep a notepad nearby to jot down any random thought that you do need to remember for later.
Write quickly and return quickly to what you are doing. Need lettuce for supper? A dental appointment scheduled before they close at noon? Make your notes, then push the pad aside. In this way, you can train your mind to concentrate on the task at hand without running down rabbit trails.
The book of Nehemiah is an excellent example of concentrating on what is in front of you in spite of distractions. In it, Nehemiah and the Jews rebuild the wall around the temple in Jerusalem. The workers were heckled, badgered, taunted, and pestered. In spite of this…
“And we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” (ESV)
They worked hard and fast. The wall wasn’t finished at this point, but they now had the parameters of their wall.
Do you have a mind to work?
Any creative effort will demand hard work that ignores distractions. Dabbling in something can be fun and relaxing, but if your goal is to produce something with depth, hard work will be required.
Let Nehemiah’s example become your inspiration. Finish the parameters of your work, then build up.
Ask God to bless your work that it might become more than you believe right now.
Grab this pdf of 31 Days: What the Bible Says For Creative People to have a list of 31 Bible verses in front of you to encourage, shore up, inspire, and build you up in any creative project you are doing.