Ah, the planning stage.
You know the one. It’s filled with can’t-hold-my-excitement brainstorms, oh-so-dreamy visioning, and I’m-the-boss goal setting.
While it’s important to spend time in the planning stage, we often find ourselves settling in for too long. Why? Because the planning stage is sexy and hopeful. The creation stage, however? That work is tough.
Now that we’re entering Q2 (where did the time go?!), I can admit I spent a little too much time in the visioning stage in Q1. How do you know it’s time to stop planning and get started on your creative projects?
If you don’t know where to start
Raise your hand if you’ve ever spent too much time in the planning stage because you had no clue where to start. My hand is raised too. I’ve learned that the best way to start is to just start.
Sometimes our trouble comes from feeling like we have to start from the beginning. I’ve shared in the past that I think in a nonlinear way so I change my creative process to fit that.
Instead of forcing yourself to start at the very beginning, try starting where you feel inspired. That may be somewhere in the middle but something on the page is better than staring at a blinking cursor, waiting for your muse to come.
If you find yourself getting too comfortable
Let’s be honest, the planning stage of any business idea is pretty dreamy. It’s full of goal setting, visioning, research, brainstorming, and talking with our community to get their feedback. It can be easy to get comfy and cozy in this dreamy space, but it’s not where big things happen.
Start by slowly inching yourself out of your comfort zone. If you’re working on an ebook, start by writing a few hundred words a day and kick it up a notch every week. If you’re working on designing a logo, start sketching some initial concepts. Starting small will help you gain some momentum to really dive into the creation stage.
If you know your end goal but aren’t taking any steps toward it
When you know your long term vision, you know what you’re working toward. This can give your work great direction, but you need to take daily actions in order to get there.
Let’s say your end goal is to launch an Instagram challenge (hint: #createlounge is hosting a #30daysofcreating Instagram challenge right now so join us!) The daily action steps may look like researching hashtags one day, writing the prompts the next day, shooting the photos the following day, and so on. This way your end goal doesn’t feel daunting because you’re taking different bite-sized steps toward it everyday.
If you keep getting distracted by new, shiny ideas
When you’re working on a passion project, you make a commitment to the idea to see it through until the end, whatever that may look like. Throughout the process, we’ll have many bursts of enlightenment that will try to convince us to abandon our current project to start the next one.
If we continually chase every new idea that comes our way, we’ll never finish any of our projects. When new ideas do come, write them down in a journal to come back to once your project is completed. It’ll still be a great idea a week, month, or even year from now.
If you’re already stressing out about your launch
Many times when we are brainstorming and outlining our projects, we have a tendency to skip to the end: the launching stage. Rather than worry exactly what the launch will look like, begin creating the content you feel most confident in.
Your launch details will fall together along the way. Don’t let it paralyze you from getting started. One step at a time, my friends. You’ve got this.
What keeps you from not creating? How do you combat those setbacks? Let me know in the comment section below.