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How to stop feeling so overwhelmed for creatives and artists

For many creatives and artists, feeling overwhelmed is a common experience. Whether it's the pressure to constantly come up with new ideas, the stress of meeting deadlines, or the financial uncertainty that often comes with pursuing a creative career, it can be easy to feel like you're drowning in a sea of tasks and responsibilities (and exploring this new ai stuff).

Does it like you have a million ideas bouncing around in your head, but when it comes time to actually execute them, your brain decides to take a nap and watch “The White Lotus” for the 3rd time?

Sometimes the pressure to be constantly creating can feel like a never-ending game of Whack-a-Mole. Every time you finish one project, another one pops up to take its place. Let alone playing Tetris with your budget, except instead of blocks, you're trying to fit all your bills into your bank account without going bankrupt.

Does that sounds familiar?

That all occurs to me as well and in addition my inner critic is constantly breathing down my neck, whispering 'you're not good enough' in my ear. I swear, if I could put that voice on mute, I'd be unstoppable!

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to stop feeling so overwhelmed and regain a sense of control over our work and life.

Here are some strategies that helped me a lot:

  1. Prioritize your tasks: When you have a long to-do list, it can be difficult to know where to start. One effective strategy is to organise your tasks based on their importance and urgency. This will help you focus on the most critical moments first and avoid wasting time on things that can wait (except “The White Lotus” of course)

  2. Break things down into smaller steps: Big projects can be overwhelming, so break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. You know that feeling when you're staring at a blank canvas, and it feels like the canvas is staring back at you, daring you to make the first move? Yeah, it can be pretty intimidating. But instead of trying to paint the whole masterpiece in one go, try breaking it down into smaller steps. Start with a sketch, then add some color, then some details, and before you know it, you'll have a work of art that you're proud of. Small steps will help you stay focused on the task at hand and give you a sense of progress as you complete each step.

  3. Set realistic goals: It's important to set goals for yourself, but make sure they're realistic. If you set goals that are too ambitious, you'll only end up feeling disappointed when you can't achieve them. Instead, set goals that are challenging but attainable. Maybe your first goal is to finish a sketch in one sitting, or to spend an hour a day practicing your watercolor class or submit your artwork to 3 agencies. Not that scary, right? Same for your budget. You’ve definitely heard about 6 and 7 figures creatives and their example could be motivating and depressing together. How far are you from 6-figure budget? Increase your budget goal within 10-15% from what you have now. Feels much achievable, right?

  4. Take breaks: It can be tempting to work non-stop when you're feeling overwhelmed, but this will only lead to burnout. Take regular breaks to recharge your batteries and come back to your work with fresh energy. And no kidding - you have to put your pauses and rest in your calendar as well! Other wise there will be always something “more important”

  5. Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential for staying productive and focused. This means getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and making time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. I know, I repeat myself - but add all this to your calendar!

  6. Celebrate your successes: Finally, remember to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Acknowledging your achievements can help you stay motivated and feel more confident in your abilities. Add this to your notes - how you will celebrate your next step? (And add it in your calendar)

Feeling overwhelmed is a common experience for creatives and artists, but it doesn't have to control your life or lead to burning out. The good news is, there are ways to find joy and fulfillment in our work. By prioritizing your tasks, taking deep breath and enjoy=ing every success, you can regain a sense of control and create with confidence.

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