Can I do better?

A question I’m learning to ask myself without judgement?

It’s easy to judge yourself and in doing so you’re not likely to answer the question in a way that is helpful.

You’ll be likely to find yourself caught up in a woe is me story-line. Your answer will be something like: ‘Well, I’m trying and it’s just not working out the way I want and I wish it could be better but maybe I’m just not good enough…’.

That sort of mentality isn’t helpful and it won’t result in growth, development or progress.

When it comes to improving on something you can’t attach emotions to your critique because it isn’t personal.

When asking the question Can I do better? it isn’t even really about a yes or no answer because one could argue that you can always do better. Instead it’s about whether you are happy to put out the thing you’ve created or the work that you’ve done.

Vulnerable creativity

A big part of creativity is being vulnerable.

When the work you’re producing is not at the level you’re content with it may be because of one of 2 reasons.

The first is that you’re working in a medium that you’re so used to that you need to dig deeper in order to produce something with an element of vulnerability.

The second is that you’re working in a new, less familiar medium and you haven’t reached that level of comfort where you’re able to be vulnerable with what you create.

As someone who writes a daily blog, has journalled for over a decade, has had various lifestyle blogs over the past 8 years and also writes poetry, I’m quite familiar with expressing vulnerability through my words.

However, I’ve recently been working on taking and styling photos which is something new for me.

I’m still finding my way with taking photots which is why it often feels difficult. But instead of pushing myself to create something interesting, I find myself holding back.

It’s easier just to do something simple instead of putting myself into my work. That takes vulnerability.

 

 

 

There are levels to creativity.

I beleive that I’m able to convey vulnerability through my writing. But as I work with other mediums I find that I’m much less free-flowing. My work is rigid and sometimes uninteresting.

It’s not neccisarily bad but in the creative process I don’t feel like I’m experimenting or pushing the boundary

The best work

Right now might be the right time to start exercising your creative muscles.

Write, paint, draw, photograph, film, style etc

Make time for the thing that you’re interested in whatever it may be. Use the time you have to practice and experiment, try something that will challenge you.

When you’re just starting out creatively you’ll often find yourself drawn to following what has worked in the past or simply mimicking something you’ve seen.

But the best work will always come from within. However, you have to work your creative muscle to find it.

I’m learning that a big part of that is being vulnerable.

Boosting morale and feeling connected

Through challenging times it’s always helpful to find ways of boosting morale.

A common way of doing this is through bringing people together.

Very little compares to the feeling of people being united for a common cause. When that cause is gratitude, it really can help people feel connected to each other.

Right now a lot of people are becoming aware of the contributions that particular people make in society.

Despite everything that is going on there is this sense of ‘things aren’t particularly great right now but there are people showing up everyday that are helping to make things a little bit better or easier and I’m grateful for it‘.

I think just knowing that there are people showing up even though it’s difficult is enough to make us all feel a little bit better.

 

Restructuring your work day

Yesterday, I wrote about replicating work life at home.

But, it’s also worth considering how you work best.

Take advantage of the time you have to experiment with how you structure your day.

Maybe you’ll find that:

You prefer to start at 7am instead of 9am

You’re more productive in the evening than the morning

You feel better when you take a break away from your laptop

You like to vary the hours you work day to day

It might seem pointless to change the way you work for this period of time. However, it is worth remembering that if you give yourself the chance to do things, in a way that suits you more, you’ll probably produce better results

 

Making space for what works

Things that take a small amount of effort in the short term can end up providing great results long term.

And in the moment when we make the choice to give more, it can be easy to question whether or not it’s worth it.

Things like:

Ironing your clothes for the week ahead

Making your lunch the night before

Answering an email the day you receive it

Having a night routine

Meal prepping

When you don’t feel like doing something it’s always useful to think about how good you’ll feel in the future. You’ll feel more relaxed, prepared and organised.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Replicating work life at home

For a lot of people they will have reached a point where they have realised working from home just isn’t the same as being in the office.

Because it isn’t.

You might find yourself less focused, less productive and more distracted, especially if you live with other people.

And so it might be helpful to find ways to replicate how you feel at work in your home.

A few ideas are:

Create a suitable working space – Even if it’s just setting up at the dining table each day. Working from the sofa or your bed isn’t a suitable environment because they’re unlikely to places that you associate with work. Also it’s helpful to create some separation so that when you log off for the day you can move to the sofa to relax or tuck yourself into bed and read.

Get dressed – Not into your work clothes but wear something presentable instead if staying in your pyjamas or wearing a worn out pair of joggers.

Follow your usual routine – Whether that’s starting your day with a cup of tea at your desk, a mid morning snack, going through your inbox for the first 30 minutes of the day, having lunch at 1.30pm, whatever it may be.