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Curb Creative Procrastination: Top 10 Ways to Jump-Start Your Creativity
by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

How many of us have uncompleted projects that haven't been touched for weeks, months or even years? In any creative process, one of the greatest enemies of artists is procrastination! Here are some tips to help curb creative procrastination and jump-start your creativity.

1. Get Started
No matter the size or scope of your jewelry-making project, the only way to get it done is to get started. Even if you don't know where to begin, just get going. This can be as simple as pulling out paper and sketching your design, arranging beads on a bead board or gathering all the supplies you'll need. Doing something will help jump-start your creative inertia, which will help carry you through the project.

2. Give Yourself Reminders
In order to stimulate your creative juices, surround yourself with photos of jewelry designs and patterns, tear-outs from fashion magazines, color swatches and other inspirational images. These can serve as constant reminders to your subconscious to get going on your jewelry-making projects.

3. Combat the Battle of BIG Projects
Oftentimes a particular jewelry-making project may seem so large or complex that we wait until we have a large amount of free time (which, let's be honest--never seems to happen) or it just becomes too daunting to begin. Combat this problem by looking at a jewelry project in small steps, versus the entire process. Are there parts that you can split up? Instead of looking at the project as something you need to complete all at one time, break up elements of the project to help make it more manageable and give you small accomplishments along the way.

4. Set Realistic Goals
Many times procrastination can occur when we know we've committed to an unrealistic timeline/deadline. The response can be overwhelming and make us feel like a deer caught in headlights. Make sure you set up realistic goals in terms of the amount of time and energy you can give to a particular project, and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete the design.

5. Use All Your Time
One of the things we often hear is, "there are just not enough hours in the day." Sure we all wish there were more hours in the day, but instead of thinking of the day in terms of hours, look at the day in 10-minute increments. You will be surprised how much you can get done in 10 minutes. For example, if you have 20 minutes before you are leaving for work or an appointment, you may have time to start or continue working on a jewelry-making project. Sometimes we get so caught up in thinking that we don't have time for anything, that we lose sight of the minutes that are just ticking by.

6. Keep a Notebook/Journal
Creative inspiration can strike at anytime, so have a place where you can jot down notes and ideas as they come to you. More often than not, we finally find the time to make jewelry and we end up spending time trying to remember our ideas, etc. If your notes are in one place, once you decide to get going you can easily access your creative ideas.

7. Know When to Dive In
With the vast amount of inspiration and jewelry-making tutorials available, it's easy to spend hours and hours researching new ideas and techniques. This is a great resource, just be sure if you are working on a deadline or trying to complete a particular project, you know when it's time to just dive in and start working.

8. Don't Let Doubt Hold You Back
So often artists let doubt or uncertainty about a particular technique or idea hold them back. Remember, there is no such thing as a "beginner" jewelry-maker--once you've started your first project you are a jewelry-maker! Reminding yourself of this will give you the boost of confidence to get going. If you ever feel stuck on a technique, there are hundreds of FREE how-to videos and how-to's available to guide you.

9. Dodge Distractions
It is not uncommon for distractions to creep up around the half-way mark or right when you've almost come to the end of the project. Sometimes these distractions can take us away from the project to the point that we lose the inspiration/energy and it seems impossible to go back to it. Being aware of this can help you forge through the half-way mark or complete a particular project.

10. Celebrate and Recharge
After completing a project make sure you reward yourself and give yourself a chance to re-energize before jumping into the next project. It doesn't need to be a long break, just enough time to feel fresh and recharged before you get going again. Doing a different activity, getting some fresh air or a change of scenery will help to recharge your creative batteries for your next masterpiece.

Additional Resources:

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Curb Creative Procrastination: Top 10 Ways to Jump-Start Your Creativity," featured in the a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Great info. Thanks"
- Brenda

"This is a great article. Good bulleted topics and links to more info."
- Jaqui

"Here is how I jumpstart myself when I am feeling uninspired. I look through archeology and museum sites and then work up my own variations, sometimes combining elements from multiple classical pieces.

I can't recall if you have ever had an article on seeking out images of classical jewelry and working up variations with your components.

The red agate set here is an example and it uses entirely pieces you sell."
- Sukie

"I find many of your articles helpful, but I only print them occasionally because I know I will want them again as a resource. Tips on creativity, countering creative block and so forth are some of the most helpful because I definitely fall into those traps. These are excellent tips, and I intend to use them in the future. Thank you for keeping up with such great articles! And I LOVE FMG!"
- Becky

"Procrastination is a major problem, as there are always other priorities that have to be considered.

The idea of 10-20 minute blocs of working time may be the answer, provided that they become part of the total picture. When an creative idea occurs, if possible, I set up a staging area with the necessary components. This way, when there is time available, even in 10 minute segments, some work can be accomplished. Sometimes, just gathering the materials leads to different creations.

Great article, thank you so much."
- Myrna

"This article is great for most crafts and hobbies. I do some bead work but mostly I make all of my own greeting and holiday cards. Getting out all of my tools and papers is a big help, and keeping a notepad handy is a great idea. Thanks for you article."
- Sharill

"I think providing these incentive points is very much making your customers feel like part of a family unit, that only wants the "Best for their kids". Thanks..I like it."
- Vicki

"This was an excellent article about jump starting creativity. I am supposed to be making jewelry for a small, local show but instead I am finally organizing my studio!!!"

"One of the reasons that I especially like this article is to realize that I am not alone. Like when they came out with the typewriters that had ribbons of erase your typos-I finally realized that I was not the only one who made typos. Obviously there are other designers who have difficulty starting or finishing projects."

"Thank you so much!!"
- Dawn

"Hi thanks for these inspirational notes. I find your tutorials very helpful too. If I want to understand anything or update my knowledge I just visit your site. I am finally tapping into my creative side and discovered your site while surfing the net. Thanks again."
- Elaine

"Very helpful. I am VERY new to this and have been concerned about getting the "creative juices" to flow. It gave some really good tips."
- John


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