I live my life on Post-It Notes. They are literally everywhere. On my desk, in my books, sometimes on my car dashboard. I even put them on my phone screen.
Yes I have an iPhone and yes I use reminders. But Post-It notes (and their less sticky cousins, tiny slips of paper) do something my phone can’t. Paper allows me to offload information without being sucked into the black hole that is my phone.
When I’m in the art zone (be it writing, music, drawing) ideas tend to pop up in my mind. Or the lazy part of my brain will suddenly have an idea about how to rearrange the garage. If you’re an artist, you know what I mean (comment with your most distracting thought).
So to preserve the flow of whatever project I’m working on, I need to get that pesky thought out of my head pronto.
Phones have a proliferation of alerts and notifications just itching to grab my attention. This is a trap. Once I open up my phone, it could be thirty minutes and a dozen Instagram posts later when I come up for air. This kills my creativity.
The physical offloading is crucial to getting work done. I can scribble down the idea and then move on.
We all have that inner saboteur who lives to derail your work. It’s the instigator of writer’s block. Suck on something? Suddenly a slew of ideas for other projects percolate in your mind.
No. Stop them in their tracks.
Jot the idea on a slip of paper and move on. I have piles of these orphaned ideas gathered. At a later date, I compile them into a journal and sometimes come up with a startling new story. But by writing them down, I know I won’t lose the idea, thus robbing it from its power to distract.
So the next time you sit down to work on a new song or drawing or story, have a pad of paper, or even better Post-It’s, next to you. It really works.
PS: Although Post-Its are not a sponsor, I have to say, generic sticky notes just don’t cut it. They fall off of things and that leads to losing ideas. Pay a dollar more and get the name brand.