Updated: Apr 6
It’s April everyone...the first full month of a new season and beginning of a new quarter in the year! Feels like a good time to hit the refresh button in our work and lives as creative professionals.
I don’t know about you but coming out of this winter, I’m very much in need of a refresh! Not only was it literally the darkest winter (least hours of sunshine) in 80 years in Toronto where I live, but my partner underwent a major surgery in January. Our life for the past few months has been very confined to our home and focused on his recovery. Now that he is on the mend and we are officially through winter, I’m ready for spring! Time to renew my focus both personally and professionally.
Are you ready to create a fresh start for the season in your work and life as a creative professional?
Here are five ways that you can hit refresh and renew your focus:
1. Refocus your attention to where it will serve you best for the next three months. Envision what you need and want to work towards and things you want to plan to make time for. This is something I like to do heading into each new quarter! I call it my “Quarterly Refocus”. Block off an hour or so in your calendar and set yourself up somewhere comfortable.
Start by getting a clear picture of projects already in process or that you’ve committed to. Identify external and personal deadlines for the next three months. This might include applying for open calls, funding or professional development opportunities.
Then take a moment or two to zoom out and take a holistic look at your practice, business or work life. Consider...
What do I want to put more attention and effort towards in the next three months?
You may identify some new goals or things you want to integrate into your routine over the next few months. For a framework to help you think this through, check out my Wheel of Creative Practice/Business/Career. A coaching tool I’ve created to help access 10 areas integral to work and life as a creative professional.
2. Eliminate clutter that’s built up over the winter in your studio or workspace. Clean up your desktop, and email. Do a bit of a spring clean to create a better work environment and experience for yourself! Notice...
What needs tidying, tossing or organizing to refresh my workspace?
3. Nurture a growth oriented mindset. April showers bring May flowers but gloomy self-talk and constant raining down of self-judgement on yourself does not support your growth as a creative professional! As creatives, we spend a lot of time in our own heads, talking to ourselves. What we say to ourselves matters!
We have all experienced those moments when we are excited about a new direction or putting ourselves forward for a new professional opportunity, ready to take the risk. Then we start to ask ourselves questions like “what if I’m not good at it?”, “what if I fail miserably?”, “what if I embarrass myself?”,“what will other people think?” - I’m sure you have your own examples popping into your head that you could add to this list. The impact of asking ourselves these questions is that we begin to fill our heads with and focus on everything that could go wrong and we literally talk ourselves out of taking steps in that new direction, creating the proposal, sending the email. These questions limit our creativity, sense of possibility and opportunities for growth. We get stuck.
This is something I help many of my clients work on! Ask yourself...
What might bloom in my creative practice, business, career and life if I cultivate a more growth oriented mindset?
4. Explore something new. What new skill(s) would be useful to help you accomplish something that you want to do in the coming months? Is there a new material, technique or approach that you are curious about? Is there something new you’d like to try just for the fun of it? Learning leads to fresh possibilities, ignites our creativity and helps us envision opportunities in our work and lives as creative professionals. And it can give us a sense of satisfaction. As an example, I did a bit of a deep dive over the winter into learning about SEO to improve my website. Not something I was all that excited to learn about. I was surprised about how satisfying it was and how much it inspired fresh ideas for promoting my practice! Think about...
What would be helpful or satisfying for me to learn this spring?
5. What else? This is a classic coaching question. I’m inviting you to add to this list. I trust you have your own ideas about how you can hit refresh! Jot down one or two other ideas...
What else could I do to create a fresh start for the season?