136 - Clutter

Hello and welcome to the The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get what you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.

I’m your host Tucker and this week is all about clutter. 

“I want to not-throw-it-away more than I want to keep-it.” This is something my brother told me while we were discussing moving one day. He had been clearing out a bunch of boxes he’d been keeping around and was finding it very difficult. There were something there that he knew he didn’t need. He hadn’t used them in a long time and he couldn’t really see him self using them in the near future. But there they stayed in that box in house. 

Clutter is fine when you are using it all. A messy desk means you are there often and using things. But what about those boxes of old magazines for that collage you are going to make one day or that carton of video tapes for the family film you are going to produce. Not only are they taking up your physical space they are also taking up your mental space. This is called cognitive load. It takes up space in your brain. It takes up space in your emotions. As we talked about in our last just Tucker episode space gets filled. What it gets filled with is up to you. 

In order to make room for things you have to get rid of some stuff. One of the most common concerns I hear from creatives is about time and prioritizing and not knowing which project to choose to move forward on. Well, I’ve got a few projects on the go and some are nearly done and some are nearly started. I have some that are just an idea in evernote and some that haven’t made it out of my brain yet. 

What I find is that when I get going on one project the other projects start poking their noses in. For example. I have a kids’ book that is so nearly complete it’s frustrating to me that I can’t get to it. I have a glow-in-the-dark gluten-free play dough I’ve worked out and really just need to finalize the packaging. The issue with the dough is that I keep trying to turn it into an actual product. I keep thinking I can create some sort of business with it. There are definitely some  things I’d want to work out for that to happen. As soon as I start focusing on that my other project pokes their nose in and says I should work on that one instead. 

I make a podcast every week and I’d like it to grow but when I start working on episodes my other projects poke their nose in. When I start writing songs or practicing for a gig my podcast pokes it’s nose in. 

I’ve made a list of my projects and prioritized them in the order they should be completed. That way they are done and out of my brain and I can focus on other things. 

But each time I start my other projects. Yep in comes that pokey nose. 

What’s a guy to do? Well, I’ve decided to declutter. 

It seems that I want to keep it more than I want to complete it. Every time I think of my project I get excited about it and get that creative high where I’m in love with it all over again.  

But, can I throw it away? Which projects can I just say are done and walk away from. Perhaps make a blog post about and leave it at that. Which projects can I just finish and walk away from. No crowdfunding campaigns or extra video series to build off of it or plan for. Just done.

The two I mentioned here are the ones I can complete the quickest and tie off. There are some other ones that may be more difficult to let go of but I can think of how to close them down. I think this is part of my breathing in and breathing out. 

So, my plan is to close down as many projects as possible this year. I’m not going to say complete because it can’t be really there is always more that can be added or built onto it. But I can say closed. I can say done.

There are a lot of emotions that are going to come along with this and it’s going to be hard to let things go but I have to clear the space in here. It’s too cluttered and I’m finding it hard to move around. I’m like an idea hoarder. Gotta do a purge. 

Here’s where you get to do some thinking:

  • Do you have any projects that have been hanging on for too long? 
  • Projects that just keep poking their nose in? 
  • What could you do to just wrap it up?
  • Can you wrap it up in a way that that may not be the grand vision you see when you put on your high octane creativity hat but wrapped up in a way that gets the point across? 
  • Can you wrap it up in a way that makes you go “Yeah that feels pretty good”
  • Then can you actually let it go and move on to another project you can finish?
  • Can you write your novel as a short story and get your idea across? 
  • Can you just get rid of that box of magazines and admit that you aren’t going to get around to doing that collage?  

Do you know someone who has been holding on to one or two projects too long? Please share this episode with them and hopefully they’ll see that calling it done will free up space where they live, where they think and even where they feel. The easiest way to share is to send the short url TheSparkAndTheArt.com/136 the most difficult way is to digitally encode the url into the magic cloud when Barbra Eden appears from her bottle and hope that your friend notices when you binge the first season of I Dream Of Jeanie.  

Let me know if you are going to wrap-up any projects and what your timeline is. Get me on twitter @sparkartpodcast or by email tucker@thesparkandtheart.com

Thanks for listening and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.