finding something to focus on when you're overwhelmed with ideas

 a few days ago, i wrote about the jungle of ideas in my head.  here's what i do to see through the chaos and figure out what to focus on.  

find something to focus on when you are overwhelmed with ideas

first i do some background base work to build my foundation for kicking ass. i do this any time i feel overwhelmed, lost, overbooked, etc.  so like once a week.  haha.  nah, more like once a month or quarter probably.  

  1. i write down EVERYTHING in my head.  every teeny tiny little thing, no matter how silly, dumb, too daring, or a waste of time.  i write down all the ideas i have for big fatty projects.  i write down all the errands i have to run to keep my family and household afloat.  i write down deadlines, submission dates, etc.  
  2. i look back at my manifesto, goals, etc. (you can see my personal manifesto here and my business manifesto here). if you haven’t written one, take a few minutes to do it now.  #worthit. 
  3. now i go back to my brain dump from step 1.  i circle all the things that are going to help me get closer to those goals and guidelines on my manifesto.  as i'm doing this, i'm looking to find one thing that if i do it, it will cause a chain reaction to other things to get me closer to that goal. the ones that don’t fit in with my manifesto can be deleted, delegated or ignored for now (writing them down will get them out of your head and clear up space).  
  4. for now, i choose one big fatty project that’s going to be totally true to my goals and manifesto.  usually when i'm circling things, there will be one that gives me more joy and excitement than all the others.  so i go with that one.  remember, just choose ONE, people.  
  5. now i write down all the major steps for that one big fatty goal.  i find it overwhelming at this point to write down every single thing, so i’ll just put the main steps or stages of the project. for example,  if my big fatty goal is to open up an etsy shop, my main steps would be : order supplies for creating product, create product, photograph product, write product descriptions, create and order packaging, order shipping supplies, update etsy banners, policies, etc.  (you might then want to break down each step into tiny steps)

now that i have my one big, fatty goal to focus on, and the major steps to get there, i'm ready to get stuff done!  

check back soon to see what i do on a daily basis to keep my goal in mind and stay focused.  i'll even give you the downloadable worksheet i use. 

it's a jungle in my head

tammie bennett jungle cat art print

yes, indeed.  a jungle in my head.  you'd think i was crazy if you knew how many project ideas i have in my head.  and i want to work on all of them.  my neck hurts sometimes from holding up this big fat head full of a million ideas. 

you want some examples of what i'm thinking of?

i have SO MANY patterns and illustrations and hand lettered projects i want to create.  i want to create ceramics. i want to weave.  i want to write a book.  i want to teach at least 10 different e-courses.  i want to start a community where women support and celebrate each other.  i want to have a podcast.  i want to video blog or host an online talk show. i want to blog and write and develop my social media.

i'm going to cut myself off now before you think i'm nuts (but i'm guessing you can relate big time).  

check back here tomorrow to find out how i clear the vines from my path through this jungle and see how i actually get things done.  

i'd love to hear a few things you want to do!

the importance of playing

tammie bennett's play cat

i've recently discovered the art of playing.  i've been teaching myself to let. go.  trust in the universe.  trust in the process.  trust in myself.  i've loosened the reins on what i'm creating.  i'm creating for fun

i'm enrolled in ashley goldberg's class and something about it has opened me up to so much mark making, doodling and pattern making without worrying about what it's going to look like.  she has been a favorite artist of mine for many years and i might have squealed out loud when i saw she was teaching a class.  i even broke out of my self-imposed hiatus on online classes.  and i'm so. glad. i. did.  

the combination of me letting go and giving myself permission (in fact forcing myself to play with art each week) is opening up my mind in crazy ways.  the ideas are shooting out of my head like a geyser of shiny bubbles leaving lots of cute notes and doodles in its wake.  

i've also been sending out at least one  of my 50 asks each week and i have some really fun projects in the works.  the more i'm putting out into the world, the more i'm getting back.

i'm going to keep creating art during play time.  i'll keep sharing it here, letting my fun spill out into the world.  like little shiny prisms.

watercolor + photoshop pattern :: goals for october

tammie bennett's watercolor spring pattern

i've done massive work in the last month cutting through the clutter in my brain and trying to bring all of my super fuzzy goals and dreams into focus.  i'll be posting lots more about this in the next few weeks in case any of you are feeling like you're living in a world where there's too much condensation on the windows and you can't quite see the simplicity and beauty outside.

i've been working with a professional coach and with her help (and with mega support and insight from chris), i've broken through so many layers of overwhelm, low self-esteem, lack of clarity, and stuckness to come up with my two fatty goals for october. 

my first goal for october is to get my act together with self care/fitness/health.  that's a long way to say i need to run and exercise regularly.  it's part of my make up.  running is part of who i am and what helps me tick and i can't put it on the back burner anymore. how silly to deny myself of something that i KNOW makes me a better me.  

my second goal is to learn  how to create patterns in photoshop.  this is a missing piece in where i see my art career going.  i also want to feel comfortable with watercolors and bringing that watercolor work into photoshop to create patterns.  i want to be a wiz by the end of october.  this is a lofty one, folks.  

my number one priority yesterday was to spend 30 minutes watching a photoshop lesson and bring in my artwork to see if i could turn it into a pattern.  what you see up top is what i came up with.  i'm pretty happy with it.  i painted the floral work while i watched the lesson, scanned it and played around with it and somehow forced it into a half drop repeat.  

i can imagine it as clean fresh sheets, can't you?

by the end of the month i want to be able to create more layered patterns and add texture.  i want a lot of the background to be covered and to repeat seamlessly.