It’s easy to overwhelm yourself with so many things and ideas that nothing materializes. For example, a writer might think about article ideas for different magazines, project ideas, and Web site / networking pages content ideas. Thinking about all of these will likely produce nothing except one overwhelmed freelancer.
This became a problem when I drafted two posts (one being the 70+ PowerPoint presentation post) and I kept running into articles from experts who implement many ideas. This inspired me to think about something I could create. Then I realized I was brainstorming about too many things at once. The result: Stifled energy and creativity. Nothing got done.
Freelancers typically have current assignments plus projects or tasks they want to do or try. Sometimes thinking about both can lead to getting little to nothing done. Instead try these steps:
1. Keep a “to do” list for currently assigned projects and clients.
This list contains things you must do. Identify these as required tasks. Instead of looking at the long list of things to do and inviting overwhelm back into the picture — pick two or three to do for the day.
2. Add “want to do” projects to the “to do” list.
Label these differently than the required to do items for clients and projects. On a day when you can do shorter tasks from your client/project task list — make this your task for the day. Don’t let your mind wander and seek out other ideas and projects. Do only this activity.
You could set a schedule for allowing yourself to work on these want projects. Once a week. Once every two weeks.
3. Stop mind wandering by adding new ideas to the “want to do” list
Instead of getting trapped thinking about more things you’d like to do or try, add it to the list and let go. This puts your idea in concrete terms so you can let it go. Return to whatever you’re doing or work on the next to do item.