Stop trying to be original.
Or why you should clean. Emma's Notes #53
I don’t know about you - but I love a fresh idea. Something that feels new and shiny. Something that feels you so energized you want to do nothing more than neglect all your current responsibilities and dive into this new project.
I love starting things. So much so, that I sometimes find it hard to finish things. And at some point, I decided to just let myself follow the new shiny thing. Why? Because I realized that it was never that new in the first place.
See - creativity is not about having to brand new ideas. It’s about seeing new patterns within the information you have looked at a thousand times already.
I realized that my ‘new’ ideas were in fact just iterations of things I was already working on when I deep-cleaned my digital space.
So - this is your sign to do the same.
Organize your drive
Go through your downloads and store what you need to keep properly, delete the rest
Organize your note-taking tool (which should be Notion because Notion is superior)
Critically look at your to-do list and take off all the things you said you were going to do but never did. No need to leave traces of inconsistency or changed minds.
Why? Well not only because it will make you feel very good and on top of your life. Besides a great shot of dopamine (or many shots because I don’t know about you but for me, it took a while), it will remind you of the patterns of your ideas.
And then, I recommend you do three things:
Write down the ideas you keep coming back to, but have never acted upon. Maybe it’s launching a new business or product. Maybe it’s a new habit that you keep writing about, but have never truly made a part of your reality. Reflect upon what you want to do about the fact that apparently, this is very important to you. Important enough to write down so many times.
Make a year circle planning. Because chances are you are having the same ‘ah I should have thought about that’ moments every year. I for example, always stress out in November. I like to send Christmas cards to the people I’ve worked with. However, the process of designing the card, getting it printed, and then handwriting a thank-you note takes time. And besides that - I should post early enough to give the mail service a chance to deliver on time. Similarly, every year in March I think I hate my work and life. Every. Damn. Year. It’s just because winter is long in the Netherlands, and March is usually a very busy work month. However, as soon as the sun starts shining more in April. I love my life again. So - I now wrote that down. Don’t give in to the existential panic in March - just wait till it’s April. As I was cleaning my digital space I read my notes I realized that I was doing the same thing over and over again. So now I have a schedule reminding me of things like these.
Schedule a monthly clean-up. It really saves a lot of time if you don’t wait till it takes you hours and hours to clean. Moreover - you will get more creative because you remind your brain of its own patterns more often.
Have a great week,