We’re moving toward the end of the year — and it can be easy to start going into “hunker down” mode instead of “growth” mode.
But we still have four more months of 2017 left — and it’s definitely not too late to do something epic this year!
This month’s prompts are designed to keep you in the game and getting better. Just as a reminder, we’re giving our community two prompts every month — one that will help your creativity, and another to help your productive output.
Feel free to try one or both — and let us know in the comments how it went!
The September Productivity prompt: Processes and projects
This one comes from Jessica Abel’s great book, Growing Gills, and it starts with recognizing the difference between what she calls a process and a project.
A creative process (at least for our purposes today) is something that you already know how to create.
For example, I outlined my creative process for writing blog posts and podcast scripts in 7 Steps to Grow a Blog Post. And I used that process to draft two more pieces of content the day I wrote that one.
A creative project is one that you don’t know all of the steps for yet.
If you’re launching a new website, assuming that’s not something you do professionally, you’ll be in project mode.
You’ll spend a big chunk of your creative time figuring out next steps, puzzling through the activities you haven’t done before, and making creative decisions. All of which are mentally exhausting.
This month’s prompt is to look at your to-do list and figure out which items are processes and which are projects.
For your processes, schedule some time this month to sharpen them up. Sit down and define the steps. Maybe make yourself a checklist.
Refining your processes until they’re really smooth will help you spend your time and energy on the creative aspects, not the mechanics.
And your projects? You’d do yourself a huge favor by picking one to focus on right now.
Have a listen to my podcast interview with Jessica Abel for some reasons why you’ll actually move forward much faster if you do.
The September Creativity prompt: Write your manifesto
Since the beginning of this year, we’ve put a lot of emphasis on defining your “Who” — understanding, on a deep level, precisely who you want to speak to.
We also talked about how sharing your values is a potent tool for both defining and attracting that “Who.”
This month — why not try a manifesto?
I define this as an impassioned rant about what matters the most to you, and why.
A great place to start is:
What makes you genuinely angry?
What do you wish people would quit doing? What do you wish people would start doing? What frustrates you? What scares you?
What breaks your heart?
Of course, if what you care about most is wildly different from your business topic, you’ll have to figure out some kind of intersection.
But you may find that it becomes a unique identity that attracts exactly the kind of audience you want to work with.
Your manifesto could be two paragraphs long, or two pages, or 200. The Cluetrain Manifesto is 320. Keep writing until you’ve said what you need to say.
Are you trying either (or both) of these?
Let us know how it goes in the comments!