Accounting for Head Space and Creativity in Project Management: a Conversation with Alyse Speyer and Achille Ramambason Part 3
There’s a difference between making notes and taking notes. When starting and continuing a creative project, your mindset is critical. Understanding that you are working on a first draft and honoring that will help you move forward on it. The first draft always takes the longest and then you get faster and faster at it.
Stay curious and keep asking yourself: what’s going to happen today?
Benchmarks and KPI's
Choose a benchmark for yourself and also understand that there are multiple ways to measure success. You might need more than one. I realized that using just word count would eventually cause a stop in progress, and I'd either need to surrender to the moment or choose different metrics for success - or better accept both! I initially choose word count. After some time, I realize that the cells in my tracking spreadsheet green or red, it's still is all great.
Even with creative projects and your own creativity, you have good days and bad days. You might not be happy with your progress but there is always progress - keep showing up and remember that you are not your feelings. This is a great reminder to yourself, because your feelings about a situation aren’t necessarily representative of reality or what you yourself actually thinks and understands about the situation. You have to let feelings pass for you to actually have more clarity on what’s on the other side. The brain will always want to speculate. And yet, it cannot find the answer because you are still in the momentary emotion. It will pass, keep fighting the good fight, and show up.
Exercising the muscle
There will be some days where nothing comes out or days where you are in bliss and flow. The important moment is that it’s about showing up to your project every single day. Success loves commitment. Exercise the muscle of success. There will be times that you will only fully understand when you are on the other side of the feeling or even the project. This holds true for life as my mom is experiencing this with her cancer treatment.
What's your recipe?
Observe your creative process. Mine seems to be waffling in cafe and choosing where I want to write and who I want to be that day. Whether you are writing characters or developing your own character, you still are fighting the good fight, getting ready for battle. Choose consciously which wolf in your head do you want to feed. Acknowledge yourself and show that any day where you sit and dedicate to your prokect is a good day. It’s a couple of hours, come what may. And something beautiful will always come. It’s a massive exercise in meditation and vulnerability with the self - and experimenting with your own creative process will reveal worlds about yourself to yourself. Sometimes it helps to ask yourself "Who do I want to be today?" or even "Who do I need to be today?" There is always a lesson in everything that you do.
Embodying the thing that you want to be or to create will help you achieve it with more gusto and happiness. This is because your brain can't really tell the difference between what is happening and what is not. We make up stories all the time, so why not write one that serves you and your highest good? Embodiment is the missing piece in the "fake it until you make it" quip. You need to feel it in your cells, visualize how it will be for you when you finish. What's it going to feel like?
Quantifying Head Space
When you look at your projects, be sure to account for head space.
You could have a great gant chart, etc. and yet accounting for head space, especially when tasks are extraordinarily different, is powerful.
This is what I call the Ping Pong Table Effect. Move your body between tasks. Movement makes the difference and the body has a language of its own that can help us problem solve in a different way. Literally “Take off the jacket of work” and put on something else. Or simple things such as standing up or pushing the chair back or literally taking a step back. Just breathe.
You make an attempt, and you get ready for what you want to have show up in your life. Practice and all is coming.