Do you focus like a racehorse?

It's hard to keep your head above the flood

It’s hard to keep your head above the flood

Too many days go like this. . .

I’m working on a new snowman design and adapting it for a variety of Zazzle products. Crap, there’s another new product it would work well on. Then an email pops up that looks interesting (see below). Or, I have to wait for Photoshop to process something complicated.

My plugin crashes. My iPhone is insisting on another update. Waiting for that, I then check on a recent Zazzle sale and consider posting it to Facebook or Pinterest. If it’s Firefox, I switch browsers so I can use a handy referral tool. On the way, I have to update something else! The phone rings and I really do need to talk to my mom – she’s been “forgetting” to take her medications lately.

Where was I? Focus for creatives is hard.

Oh, I should go back to that email. I need to write a proposal for that talk about WordPress. What happened to that snowman design? Well, I might tweak a new address photo card design, or an old Christmas ornament that used to sell well. I go to look for it and am dismayed again at my old category folders on this store or that. I should make new ones. And it would be fun to design new banners and product pins.  Then someone wants to borrow the keys or ask what I think about this idea or that. I go to look for the other snowman design and run across a bunch of images I had forgotten about that would be perfect for the new watches. Oh, I need to add templates to my QC folder. Oh, wait! I just sold another wedding ornament – maybe I should make a couple more of those real quickly?

But the sun is shining and I really do need some fresh air and exercise. And someone has to run to the grocery store today. And another email just popped up with a big sale on greeting cards that reminds me I should design some awesome cards for myself this year. Oh, and I have a coupon for free business cards that I want to make, too.

And so on. It’s mentally exhausting just typing this. And every day has the potential to scatter my energy just this way!

I am not off to the races this way! The article below by Jack White is a reminder of a critical component of why and how races are won, not just run. It occurs to me that we can set up our workspace for focus and cut out a lot of distractions, but. . .

A racehorse can focus because he must and because he can. He has only to step into the flow of the race and go.

A wild horse just running around would have to be aware of his surroundings – what threats are flying in the sky above him? how many rabbit or prairie dog holes lie ahead? where is the next meal coming from? does he have a mate to run with and a colt to teach? is the weather threatening?

He can only focus on running if he watches where he is going and keeps an eye on his environment. A horse with blinders in the wild could easily be a dead horse.

A horse in a race has someone else taking care of so many details – the food, the shelter, the ground to run on. And the jockey on his back to guide his moves and urge him on. He has only to do what he guided to do and to run his heart out. For a short time.

How can we creatives – designers, writers, promoters – have racehorse times in our days?

I sure can see the benefits!

I cleared off and cleaned my desk last night. I re-arranged the ergonomics of my computer and chair. I am staying home and trying to concentrate at the computer where I am one of my worst enemies. 🙂 I just want to be able to step into the flow. But it’s not just the flow, is it? Not only is focus for creatives who also market and run their own show hard, but so are the daily measurements. The racehorse has a goal and everyone knows when the race is done. How does an artist know? A finished design? One hundred new products? Twelve sales? Eighteen posts? Fourteen hours?

How do you define your goal? This post was not on my mental list of things to do today, but needed to be written. My goal today is to accomplish a laundry list of items; number of hours isn’t the right measurement for me today.

Back to work now.

Wish me a productive day! And I wish you the same.

Keep Your Blinders On

by Jack White

I have found art to be a jealous mistress. She wants your full attention or her jealousy will find a way to destroy your life. […]

Read the rest of this article at:

This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

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