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Creative sanity: Everyday tools we need to stay one step ahead

Creativity may be in the mind but to implement it we need tools.

Every painter needs a brush. Every musician needs an instrument. Every entrepreneur a strategy book. Creatives need tools. So we asked our community what they use to stay one step ahead.

Focus on your sanity

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While it’s obvious that we need our brains to get things done, it’s often not obvious that we need to keep them healthy to do it.

Sanity is your number one tool to get through any day, project or job. Pain and other negative human emotions may help create great works of art, but what’s the use if the artist cannot enjoy some part of their existence?

Therefore, mental and emotional health trump all other tools in our pursuit of great goals.

Plan accordingly

Whether that’s through a calendar, a reminders app or a physical notebook, staying organized is an important tool to get things done.

Creativity can often be disorientingly abundant so we need some structure to keep the flow going. Google Calendar or iPhone Calendar are lifesavers.

Some of our creatives even create events for themselves, as reminders. Some apps are pretty useful as well. If you’re more of a visual person, the Notebook App provides great color coding and various ways of keeping notes and lists.

For others, nothing beats pen and paper, and the perfect notebook for creatives is a must.

Keep your goal hitlist organized

Keeping track of goals is essential.

Many of us use a simple table of weekly versus daily goals, and still, others will even plan months ahead. Setting deadlines for yourself keeps things going smoothly.

Checking on what you’ve gotten done so far is helpful to keep your workload realistic and your motivation high. We all love crossing things off our lists. Plus, productivity feels good.

Always find time to journal

Journaling is a tool that you can use in your professional and personal lives. And for creatives, those two tend to collide and blend into each other often.

Journaling your thoughts at the beginning and end of the day can help ground you. Asking yourself how you feel at the start and close of a busy day can ease some of that stress and help brainstorming become far less painful.

Taking time to check-in and actively writing your feelings down helps us validate them and even at times let go of negativity.

Find time to disconnect

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We all know that feeling of grinding so hard that you burn out. While productivity feels good, mental exhaustion does not.

Creatives need to take time to disconnect from their work so that they can come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.

Whether it’s one hour of silence and meditation or just 20 minutes of calm and no social media, your work will thank you for taking that break.