Methods to sustain productivity
What creative projects have I been working on? It’s almost a labor to answer that one concisely, hence my lack of participation.
My mind is of never ending creative ideas, some great and some not, most not.. but they don’t ever seem to stop. I also like to be creative, and as a result, have ended up with more “started” projects then I’m willing to count.
So my question to fellow traverses of the tilde-verse is, what are some methods you use to sustain productivity in individual projects when creativity itself inspires starting new projects?
I stated making a real effort to log and save valuable information on projects that I both started and would like to start by using a notebook program called Joplin. I found myself searching for things and finding that I'd actually already clicked links that showed up. I also make to do lists within Joplin for current projects so that I can easily look at what I'm still working on because sometimes I just put a project aside and forget about it for awhile.
I've had trouble installing Joplin before, because the only way to install it for my Linux distribution is to compile it from source. I just tried it again and it seems like it's going to work this time around, but would you mind, when you have the time, elaborating more on Joplin and explaining what you like about it? What it does differently or better than other programs?
Reason I'm asking is, I'm designing (designing, not currently programming) a pretty big idea for a program that mixes the concepts of personal wikis and task management into one monolithic beast and Joplin seems like it's already treading a lot of the same ground I'm looking to cover.
So, I'm definitely going to dive into Joplin for inspiration, if nothing else, but I'd love to hear more about why you like it.
For starters, it's free and open source, I can back up my data in whichever way I choose and even encrypt it and I don't have to worry about a company looking at my data or closing down a service that I rely on.
It's multiplatform, I use different devices all the time so this is a must for me.
It has a gui with all of my notes in one spot.
It has custom tags and I can see my tags in the gui. Having everything in one spot in the gui is important to me because I forget things and I like to see everything in one spot to help me remember. Having everything in one area also makes editing multiple pages a breeze.
It doesn't run as a service, I could run a wiki service on a server, but that comes with a lot of set up and possible headaches, this is easy to set up and easy to sync on any device, meaning I'll actually use it.
It has basic markdown, i didn't realize what I was missing out on formatting this way, I figured out how to make tables so I can take Cornell style notes if I want to.
I still use a different system for tracking other things on spreadsheets, but I really needed something for storing information and retrieving it easily whenever I want.
My basic advice kind of mirrors @Lawrencium265's in that you should check out ways to record the ideas you come up with and discover workflows to make writing and recording information about those ideas easier.
Basically, try to get into the habit of writing everything down. Seriously. Write. Everything. Down.
It's fine, at first, to just quickly record ideas into loose text files floating around on your computer, but you really ought to check out some sort of notebook or personal wiki program to organize and structure your ideas.
I've also found that I have an easier time "staying passionate" about ideas if I can build new ideas on top of old ideas or relate ideas in some ways.
Aside from using some sort of personal wiki, note-taking, or notebook application, once again, @Lawrencium265 is on the ball by suggesting task management/todo lists as another thing to help manage productivity.
Tasks are meant to be completed, so if you can get into the habit of not only creating tasks for yourself, but completing them as well, then you might be able to find the drive to incrementally get things done.
So yeah, sorry, I know this is all kind of abstract advice that might not make the most sense, but here's a list of a bunch of programs that you can check out for managing your personal information:
If Org Mode had a top notch iOS app it would be nearly perfect.
The start of a project is always exciting because of the theoretical potential and low pressure. However, once a project is no longer new, the excitement has worn off, and it is now all boring details and potential failure. Other, newer projects suddenly look much more enticing because they now hold all the untapped potential and promise. To keep myself motivated to stay with a project, I focus on how good the sense of accomplishment will feel when I can step back and say “it’s done.” For me this is a stronger, deeper feeling that will last far into the future because I can always think back and know what kind of work I am capable of.
Its like the difference between the energy you get from sugar and the energy you get from a more balanced meal.
You might try picking a small project or one near completion and see it through and then focus on the feeling of accomplishment and remember it. You can then see if that memory helps you stay focused on the slightly longer project.
If an idea for a project comes to your mind, don't so "no" but say "not right now." Write down the idea somewhere so you can get it out of your brain and then come back to the orriginal project.
It can also help to break larger projects into smaller pieces so you feel the sense of accomplishment more often.
This is how it works for me. I hope this glimpse into my mind helps.