If you want to increase your creative productivity, here are a few things you can do.
Forget about inexperience, insufficient budgets, or lack of resources, not knowing how to make yourself more productive is the main hurdle filmmakers have to overcome. Whether you procrastinate, are unorganized, or are easily distracted by push notifications blowing up your phone, this video from director/editor Jakob Owens of The Buff Nerds will help you find new ways (or reinforce some tried-and-true ones) to get to work on your film projects. Check it out below:
You've most definitely heard these tips before, but that's because they friggin' work. There's no magic thing you can do that will somehow make you a dynamo at work or give you some kind of cosmic energy that will help you get through your projects faster; all there is is good ol' fashioned preparation and discipline.
- Wake up an hour earlier than usual: That's 7 extra hours per week, 30+ extra hours per month, and 365 extra hours per year that you can dedicate to working on projects.
- Create a daily to-do list: Committing your tasks to paper helps you not only get things done but also avoid forgetting about things that need to get done.
- Use a calendar to prepare for the future: I admit, I'm horrible at this, but managing a monthly and yearly calendar is essential for filmmakers. It helps you keep track of all of the billions of things that your clients need, as well as what needs to be completed during production.
- Get rid of distractions: I know you like Facebook and the new season of Shameless and everything else that seems to become super interesting when you're trying to work, but you've gotta put that stuff away. My phone isn't allowed in my office when I'm writing, and I also use SelfControl to keep my dirty eyes off of tantalizing websites. (I've been all about watching Samantha Bee and cringe videos lately.)
- Complete tasks one at a time: If you're one of those people (like me) who works on multiple tasks at a time, understand that often leads to not completing any of them. Focus all of your energy on one damn thing at a time, finish it, and move on.
- Complete the biggest task first: This may not be your cup of tea—I know I'm not fond of this all the time, but you might want to try the "avalanche" approach to finishing tasks (as opposed to the "snowball" approach), tackling the biggest, baddest one on your list first so the rest of your workload is nothing but easy stuff.
- Take short breaks to re-energize: It might be tempting to bulldoze your way through an entire project from start to finish, putting in 18-hour days without a day off, but that's not going to help you in the long run. Giving yourself short breaks throughout the day, as well as a day off here and there, will allow you to re-energize not only your body but your mind and creativity.
What are some other ways you can be a more productive filmmaker? Let us know down in the comments.