Quarantine: How to still get the job done

Post by 
Joseph Kinstler
March 23, 2020

esla, Mozart, Picasso, and Jobs did it. They isolated themselves and came up with some of the masterpieces of technology and art that we have today. So now that we are all quarantined and under "Stay at home" isolation where the heck is all the art? and new ideas? All those pipe dream projects or that painting that you have had in your head forever and just haven't had time to complete - where are those?

I get it, the motivation isn't there. You just can't get off the couch or god-forbid the bed. But don't worry, I have a way to help.

First, reframe your environment

"Creative individuals...have a greater tolerance for ambiguity and openness to experience. They are more open to their environment and find that the environment provides them with the context for creativity."

- Montuori and Ronald E. Purser | Deconstructing the Lone Genius Myth

It's a bit boring but turns out good ol' Mont and Ron nailed it on the head. We need our environment to influence us and to create. No that's not an excuse to run out and start painting in large crowds and restaurants. What it means is that in times like this, when we are instructed to self-quarantine, we have to reframe our environment. Everyone going through this has a different perspective and a different story to tell. All you need to do is tell yours.

Then beat procrastination

Okay, the first one was easy. This one, not so much. I don't blame you - I spent the weekend binge-watching "The Hunters" on Netflix with my fiance. Don't worry, no regrets.

Procrastination. We know it all too well, creative or not, procrastination is our best friend but also our worst enemy. It sneaks in like a snake through rationalization. Instead of saying, "I'll never draw that portrait" we tell ourselves, "I am going to draw that portrait, I'm just going to start on it tomorrow." And that's a dangerous road to go down. If you can be keen enough to know when that happens then you are better off than most of us.

The best tool for fighting procrastination in my work and personal life is to just do it.

No duh, right?

... Try it though.

If you are struggling, sit for 10minutes and work on whatever project or task needs to be complete. Set a timer if it helps. Research shows that once you start something, you are much more likely to finish it. You will find that after 10mintues of working on that task you will be focused, involved, and determined to keep working. Steven Pressfield said it best,

"There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on procrastination. This second, we can sit down and do our work."

The one thing to keep in mind is that it won't go according to plan. But you have to be prepared. A professional understands that the field alters every day. With the change that Coronavirus brings we must be fluid and prepared as creative professionals. Don't let procrastination be your excuse.

I can't wait to see how artists and designers adapt to this new landscape.

Now go tell your story and create your masterpiece. We're waiting :)

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