Get an Accountability Partner for Your Creative Project

creative-acountability-partner

Want to change the world? Go to bed on time.

Then you’ll have the energy and time to work on things that matter before the day gets away from you. If you don’t have a rigid schedule that allows you to regularly pour yourself into a project, you won’t see it grow.

When I read advice from creative people I admire (folks like Stephen KingAnne Lamott, Twyla Tharp, Eviatar Zerubavel and Austin Kleon) the message I distill is simple.

Creative people don’t become prolific because they have some secret source of magic others don’t. Creative people become prolific when they master the art of discipline.

Have a creative project that’s a priority? Start by giving it the regular time it needs. If you can’t figure out how to bake it into your schedule, it won’t become a habit.

Even if you can only work on it weekly, commit to a specific time rather than waiting for larger chunks of time that may never come. Forming the habit is the key to seeing your project grow.

Find someone to meet you at your kitchen table or a coffee shop on a schedule. They can work on something completely different. The point is to have someone that cares enough that they’ll keep you accountable.

You may need an extra nudge when figuring out how to make your project a habit. That’s fine. Give it a shot. Soon your passion may be the only reason you need to get to bed on time.

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Track Your Creative Project With Metrics

Track metrics for creative project

So, you’re committed to a creative project, but how do you keep it on track after you’ve started?

Tracking your progress with metrics will give you the feedback you need. If the numbers call you a slacker, it’s time to hustle. If the numbers say you’re intense, it will build confidence.

So what do you track? The amount of time you’re putting in or when you reach goals?

If you track something like the number of blog posts for your fashion blog, songs for your EP, or painting for your collection, each item could take different amount of time, so 1 does not always equal 1.

If you track time, 1 always equals 1 so your metrics are more accurate.

Plus, setting aside an hour on a calendar is less daunting than putting a goal on the calendar. Over time you’ll also see how you’re becoming more productive with the same amount of time.

All you need is a spreadsheet with a column for the weeks or months and a column for the amount of hours worked on the project. I recommend creating a spreadsheet in Google Docs.

google spreadsheet

To harness the power of peer pressure, publish a chart online so your friends can cheer you on. As an example, here are the metrics for my creative project.

With metrics, the next time someone asks “How’s your project coming?” you can tell them exactly how it’s going.

Do you keep metrics for your creative project?

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