Sometimes the hardest part of tackling a major creative project isn’t the creative work itself, but finding the motivation to stick with it when it starts to get boring or the progress slows down after the initial kickstart and you move into the fine details stage. Maybe that’s why so many projects only make it to the 90 percent complete stage.
There are many tactics that you can use to get past that productivity lull — from focusing on checking off tasks from the master project list to forcing your way through the drudgery by sheer willpower alone — but perhaps one that you haven’t yet tried is the sick and tired switch.
Especially useful for creative projects that require more than just putting in time to accomplish them, the sick and tired switch works like this: start working on your core project (let’s call it Project A) until you are absolutely sick and tired of it to the point that you can’t stand the thought of working on it another minute.
That’s when you shift gears and put Project A on hold and work on Project B, pouring all your creative energy into finishing that project (and completely forgetting about Project A). Then, when you hit the wall with Project B, you switch back to Project A, which of course, seems like a welcome break from the horrible Project B. And so on.
Now, this approach doesn’t make sense for small tasks as you end up wasting more time than you gain switching back and forth, especially if the task is one that requires you refresh your memory to get back into creative mode, but it’s ideal for long-term projects, like writing a book or doing your strategic plan, where you just need a mental break.
It works because you maintain your momentum by switching to a new creative project rather than taking a break by doing something mindless and unproductive. Even if the task is vastly different from the one you are taking a break from, you keep your creative energy flowing the entire time (because we all know how fussy creativity can be when it gets stuck).
Want more tips on how to care for your creativity? Check out this article on ways to connect with your creativity!