Of course I assume you’re actually getting things done during this time by whatever method of productivity you choose. So let’s talk what to do to follow up once you get things done.
Make sure you have a way to look at one of your projects and say “yeah, that’s done at least for now.” This way you can confidently say you’ve completed what you set out to do. This could be something as solid as a published book, or as ephemeral as a website update you know you’ll change tomorrow. Learn how to say “this is done.”
Defining “Done” means you can complete work. You can evaluate. You can deliver a product. You can relax. “Done” is vitally important to define – so do it as early as possible, including as early as possible when you’re maintaining your lists of all these ideas.
When you do decide something is “Done” have your Brainstorm Book handy – that “Done” will probably inspire other ideas.
Plus you get the peace of mind of something being over.
It’s important to have a regular Retrospective – a review of how things have gone. I recommend two times to do them – in fact, I recommend both:
- First, do a retrospective after any big project completes.
- Second, do one after a period of work. For instance if you plan things out by month, then review every month.
On a Retrospective review the following:
- What went well?
- What did you have problems with?
- What work took more effort to do than expected and what work did you miss?
After this review, you should actually ask what concrete actions will you take in the future to make things run better. This could be doing things you did right more, it could be fixing things, it could be staying aware of issues.
Retrospectives help you understand how you brought ideas to life, and how work went from a scrawl in a Brainstorm Book to being real. They spawn new ideas and help you understand your creative process.
Plus each time, you get better.
Finally, keep an success list. Every month list out what you achieved that month to move your plans forward. That should include:
- Any major achievements and successes in your plans.
- Making distinct progress in one of your projects.
- The completion of a project.
- Anything you’re particularly proud of.
Reviewing your successess helps you see the results of your actions, appreciate them – and provides you reminders that you can get these things done. It builds habit of self-reinforcement.
All those ideas in your Brainstorm Book? This is when you see that you can make your dreams real.
You’re Not Done Until After You’re Done
Always remember that your brilliant ideas aren’t done when they finish. You want to take time to figure out how to end them, how to review them, and how to learn. That helps tie together all you did and all you learn and all you do at the end.
It’s important to have these kind of closing rituals to know you’ve ended things correctly. And of course, you’ll come up with new things to do or tweak my ideas – good.
Keep learning because even though things are done, creativity doesn’t end . . .