Slow-motion Multitasking

This is one of the many days that I start with a cluttered mind. In the light of my blogging goal, what would be a better idea than getting some of that clutter out in writing?

The last couple of weeks I have spent a lot of time working on the first prototype for a new project. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may recognize this image, a sneak peek of the design in an early stage:

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Unlike the designs I have published so far, this design is made mostly in the peyote technique. My relative inexperience designing in this technique makes it quite the challenge. But I am up for it!

At this point I have spent multiple days in a row working on it and I am close to completing it. So far, I have noticed in my design process that when the finish line is in sight, I get a laser focus. The only thing I want to do is finish the design as quickly as possible. At some moment I stop enjoying the process of making the piece. When I come across obstacles, I get frustrated more easily, feeling less inspired and less motivated to find solutions.

That is a shame, right? Well I might have found a way of dealing with this state of mind. A little over a week ago I stumbled upon a TED talk by Tim Harford about ‘slow-motion multitasking. He suggests that in order to become more creative, you should work at multiple projects at once and switch back and forth between them. Tim gives examples from famous slow-motion multitaskers, like Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, and Micheal Crichton (screenwriter for Jurassic Park). Doing so he mentions three reasons for working like this:

  1. Creativity often comes when you take an idea from its original context and you move it somewhere else. It is easier to think outside the box if you spend your time climbing from one box into another.
  2. Learning to do one thing well can often help you do something else.
  3. It can provide assistance when we are stuck. If we have another project we are excited about, being stuck on one project is just an opportunity to work on something else.

I think that this way of working may provide another advantage: enjoying your work more. Instead of forcing myself to work on a project until it is done regardless of obstacles, mood or other circumstances and getting grumpy in the process, switching to another project may preserve my momentum and keep me inspired. So that is what I am doing now, writing this blog post and enjoying it!

Now I feel all refreshed to continue working on the mentioned prototype. Although my initial vision is almost completed, I have several more ideas to try out. One has to do with embellishment. Although I am not sure the piece will look better with it, I just have to try it out to get it out of my system. The second idea is about wearability. The piece I am making would be a nice decorative object on its own, but I would like to be able to carry it around and be able to play with it whenever I feel like it. I hope to show you more soon! Are you curious yet? 😉

If you want to know more about slow-motion multitasking, here is the video of the TED talk:

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