If there’s one thing that we’re all really good at, it’s procrastinating.
Between working, studying, seeing friends and all the boring stuff that comes with being a (mostly) functioning adult, it’s sometimes all too easy to leave your creative projects on the shelf until their dusty and forgotten!
One of the reasons that people take part in the Reel Challenge is that it gives them an opportunity to be not only at their most creative, but also their most productive! So, with that in mind, here are our three top tips for becoming more productive and turning more of your ideas in to reality!
1. 'Please Turn Off Your Mobile Phones' (and then everything else!)
Have you ever lost your phone and found that you actually feel a bit… relieved? Or gone on holiday and really enjoyed not being able to get any signal? Freeing yourself from the constant pull of connectivity can be a really wonderful thing.
Don’t get us wrong – we’re not anti-phones, social media, or anything else for that matter! But nobody can claim that they’re not distracting. The average person nowadays checks their phone something like 80+ times a day (?!?!) and many spend more than 4 hours a day (which is twice as much as most people guess). Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, but if you’re trying to get a creative project off the ground just think how much you could get done in that time!
So when you’re trying to get stuff done, don’t be afraid to get of your phone and sign out of social media. When it comes to concentration, notifications really are just the worst. It’s essentially clickbait that’s delivered straight to your buzzing pocket. “You’ll never believe what your mate John just commented on your mate Emma’s Facebook post. Comment #3 will kill you!”
While you’re at it, it’s worth thinking about the other things that distract you, and working how to (temporarily) shut them off until you’ve completed that project you’re committing to.
Also… If you use your smartphone for filmmaking (which many of you do) it’s really important to get that on flight mode ASAP. If nothing else, your battery (precious, precious battery) will thank you for it!
2. Find Spaces To Be Your Productive Best
If you find that working from your bedroom/sofa invariably leads to falling asleep and watching Netflix, you’re not the only one. Your brain naturally associates certain spaces with rest and relaxation, and others with work.
If you want to start producing more and procrastinating less, one of the first things you should do is find physical locations that are conducive to getting great work done. Exactly where that is varies massively from person to person, but the one thing that is consistent is the fact that people are most productive in spaces that are specifically workspaces.
Our Reel participants are lucky enough to have the whole of Europe as their workspace for the duration of Reel – and all of them mention at the finish line how much they’ve enjoyed taking inspiration from the world around them – but if you’re not that lucky, the principle is still hugely valuable.
Also, try not to pick a dungeon as your ‘productive space’. Sunlight and nice surroundings actually increase productivity – so much in fact that the occasional spot of people watching or daydreaming will be more than compensated for!
at is consistent is that people are most productive in spaces that are specifically workspaces.
3. Make Deadlines. Stick To Them.
Very, very few people (between us we know literally nobody) are their most productive when they don’t have any deadlines to meet. In fact, most of the time without deadlines I relish the feeling of being utterly unproductive! However, if you’re going to get more of your projects live, you need to start putting yourself under some time pressure.
While many people thing of stress as a negative thing (and harmful to the creative process), self-imposed, manageable stress is actually really useful. Want to immediately increase your focus? Give yourself a deadline. Oh, and tell other people about it! Telling people that something is coming makes you accountable for it, and that’s a really powerful thing for your motivation.
Most projects die before they’ve even started because nobody will give them any sort of timeline. So next time you and your friends get excited about something and all agree “we should totally do that!” make sure you follow that up with a “yep, when?”.
Often, creative people are put off from sticking with deadlines because they’re worried that they won’t produce their best work – but remember, ‘imperfect’ is 100x better than ‘unfinished’! Especially as you begin your career in film, the most project you can complete and learn from the better!
So there you have it! Our three top tips for increasing your output that you can go instigate straight away.
These lessons have been taken from The Reel Challenge, where our participants tell us that the process of having 10 days, away from distractions, in locations that inspire great work, is an amazing experience. If you would like to produce an amazing film this June whilst travelling across Europe, go to www.reelfilmchallenge.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.