How to tackle creative overload

Creative Overload

The world of craft, creativity, handmade and homemade is so popular right now. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of magazines, blogs, websites, hashtags and Instagram feeds dedicated to it that it's a surprise any of us sleep at night in order to keep up with it all!

As someone who loves handmade (and who has way too many creative interests and ideas!), I regularly find myself wishing I didn't have to sleep at night, so that I can do them all. Obviously, that's not possible, especially being someone who needs a regular 8 hour sleep (the alternative is a very grumpy Joanna, which is not a pretty sight ;-) ). So, I thought I'd take a look at how best to combat this creative overload and instead focus and get the best bits from it.

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Stop procrastinating and focus!
Come on, hands up, who doesn't spend time several hours pinning away on Pinterest but not actually getting up and following that free sewing tutorial or cooking that yummy recipe? It's so much easier to just pin that image, right? Wrong. Instead of madly pinning away for hours, you could be making, doing and creating in that time! 

Pinterest is great, don't get me wrong and certainly don't stop using it, just use it more wisely to help you get focused. For example, you want to find some free baby blanket crochet tutorials. Start by creating that Pinterest board and spend a max of 30 minutes pinning some tutorials. Now spend 10 minutes choosing one, go grab your tools and start working on it for an hour. You will have spent the same amount of time actually starting a project compared to just sitting around looking at ten possible projects. So, focus on what it is you want to create, limit your browsing time and increase your time creating.

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Don't lose those ideas, write them down
I have my best creative ideas when I'm reaching the end of a holiday, in the shower or just as I'm going to sleep. I guess that's because I'm relaxed in those situations and not focusing on being creative or forcing ideas. Wherever you have your creative lightbulb moments, grab a notebook and write them down. Obviously, this isn't possible when you're in the shower but as soon as you're out, head straight to your ideas notebook before you forget. The next opportunity you have, start working on it while the idea is fresh and flowing. 

Red Crayons

Lists, favourites and hashtags
Make the most of all those handy filters on social media to focus your attention. On Instagram you can search for inspiring accounts using hashtags and be notified of new posts by your favourite people and brands. To keep up with your favourite blogs, use a feed like Bloglovin' to make reading through them all much easier - no more googling each blog, they're all there in one place! Also, on Twitter you can create lists of specific accounts to follow.

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It's ok to stop, relax and take a break
Taking a break is actually the best way to help you get up in the morning and focused on one creative project. So, if you're finding the creative world completely overwhelming chances are you need a break from it. This could simply mean a few days or hours away from the knitting needles, recipe books or paints. Go for a walk, bike ride, swim, go see your friends, or head to the cinema, theatre, a local gig and watch someone else be creative. Whatever you do, make sure you give yourself some headspace and put that phone down for a few hours; Instagram will still be there when you return and you will feel more refreshed for it.

These are just a few ideas to help stop the creative overload and instead make the creative world work for you. I'm sure there are plenty of other ideas out there. How do you help combat creative overload? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so do share them in the comments field below.