Creation: New Year’s resolutions for all creatives
by Artwell Nwaila (@artwelln) We are all back at work and ready to show 2016 who’s boss. We are fresh and excited to make creative awesomeness. But do we want to continue with the same mistakes as last year? Nope. Below are some resolutions you can try that will help you be the top dog that you should be.
Sleep like you don’t care
My whole career I’ve pushed harder than the next person on a mission to be the best creative in the world. That led to very, very little sleep and an unappealing zombie posture. According to Webmd.com, lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, problem-solving and more. These are all the ingredients that we all need to remain top of our game.
Don’t multitask; focus
The mind is a complex tool with the ability to achieve wonders when used properly. Unfortunately, it does have its limits, and one of them is multitasking. Researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London found that multitasking causes a greater decrease in IQ than smoking weed. I can see some creative scratching their heads asking themselves, “So weed makes me dumb?” Try dedicate a few hours to no calls, emails, smses and social media, and see how much more creative you are. You’ll thank me for it (credit cards and car keys accepted).
Okay, I admit that this has been my resolution for many years because it is definitely the most effective. Every month, I try learn something new that is not within my industry or skills; I’ve found that the best creative ideas lie in places we would never think of looking. I know it sounds airy-fairy but try it. Who knows? That knitting class you took may give you insight on a fashion brief you may get one day. The most creative people are the ones who are most open to life — someone really smart and old said that, I think; take my word for it.
Studies suggest that our bodies are constantly losing stores of dopamine, so we need to constantly seek out activities that release it. One of those activities is exercise. Besides getting high on happiness, exercise also helps relieve stress and heightens energy levels. These are all the things you need to have a good work/life attitude. It also doesn’t hurt being bigger and stronger than your boss just in case he crosses the ‘I’m-gonna-smack-you’ line. And, if he’s bigger than you, at least he won’t be able to catch you.
Bill like a boss
Lots of young creatives are doing awesome things but these projects are not profitable, which means they have a short lifespan. The problem is usually linked to under-billing or giving away freebies. Let 2016 be the year of charging your creative worth and getting rid of clients who refuse to pay. That includes family and that lingering ex.
I believe that 2016 is the year of working smarter and not stressfully harder. Gone are the days of blind slaving away; now is the time for happy, healthy, focused creatives.
Artwell Nwaila (@artwelln) is a creative director in the wonderful world of TV, as well as founder and publisher of the award-winning SA Creatives (@thesacreatives), a network intended to help creatives move their professional lives forward through showcases, news and a freelancer directory. His monthly column on MarkLives, “Creation”, is a humorous take on life in the creative world, seasoned with experience-based practical advice.
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