Getting Yourself Out of a Slump and Getting Productive | Rance Keating | Skillshare

Getting Yourself Out of a Slump and Getting Productive

Rance Keating, Video Production + English Teaching

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9 Lessons (24m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. A Short Story About Managing Thoughts as a Creative Person

    • 3. Recognizing When Things Are Getting a Little Crazy

    • 4. Breaking The Habit of 'Worry Thinking"

    • 5. Dreaming 'The Positive Dream of the Future'

    • 6. Building the Habit of "Solution Thinking"

    • 7. Actually Taking 'Positive Action'

    • 8. A Simple Mental Process for More Productivity in Life

    • 9. Searching for the Best Solutions


About This Class


In this world, as a creative person with possibly a lot of imagination, sometimes it can feel incredibly difficult to find a place to fit in with the creative skills that you have. To pay the bills etc we often need to take up routine, mundane work to fund our creative passions on the side, and the monotony and 'sameness' of this routine lifestyle can drain creative motivation. For people with more analytical and logical personality traits, they seem to be more comfortable in adapting to this routine lifestyle, but it can be extremely difficult for imaginative, creative 'daydreamers', who can often find themselves daydreaming of ways to live more adventurous lives or ways to work on their creative passion projects.

Also, as a more creative person, and as someone who has quite a strong imagination, what I found in the past was that a strong imagination was a great tool to have but it came with the trade-off of having difficulty with organization and managing all of those creative thoughts. So in the past when that strong imagination went in a negative direction, and gained momentum, it could easily turn into 'negative obsessive thinking' and loss of all productivity, and the stronger imagination just meant that the stress response could be greater. The price for having a strong imagination is that if it goes negative, it can go really negative, and it can be difficult to turn the situation around and get things going in a positive direction again towards productivity. At the extreme end, just think of how many famous artists, painters, musicians, writers etc were geniuses but seemed to live quite close to 'the edge'. "There's a fine line between genius and madness" as some clever person once said. 

So in this class, in the beginning I'm going to present a short (hopefully) entertaining story about my experiences in managing my thoughts and motivation as a creative person and I'll talk about some simple discoveries that I made a long the way. And after that I will go into more detail about managing difficult situations, managing worry, managing your thoughts etc and I'll talk about a simple mental process that I follow which always seems to get me back on track in terms of creative work and life in general. Look out for the class project where you can follow the process yourself to see if it works for you. No specific previous knowledge is required to take this class as it is relevant to most people but especially creatives


1. Introduction : There have been many times in life where I have realized that I was stuck in a mental box like a mental routine habit box culture and the people all around me also seem to be stuck in the same kind of collective mental routine habit box. There seemed to be a collective mind in a way, and everyone had the same behaviors, and they would all follow the same patterns. I always got a lot of anxiety when I could see that. You know, I just thought like, Well, I don't know why, but I feel the need to jump out of this. But most times it was just my own mental kind of box that I was stuck in. For example, you have a job. You don't like a job too much. You wake up at the same time every day you catch the same bus toe, work the same train. You drive along the same road toe work every day. You go when you see the same people again day after day, you do the same tasks and things at work. Day after day, you have the same small talk chat conversations with people at work day after day, people gossip about the same stuff day after day. You gotta pretend that you're interested in what they're saying. You finish work, you drive home, you stop at the grocery store. Along the way you get the same food that you buy every week. You go home, you cook your dinner, you clean the kitchen each of dinner, you watch the same TV program again and again. Fine. Maybe you watch another TV show, but it seems to have the exact same story and the exact same characters as the other show. You want to stay up late because you feel like you're not truly living life and you just want to stay up and chill out and watch TV that our before you go to bed feels like true freedom. And now is when you gotta go to bed. You know, when you're when you're in the middle of all this freedom, now you have to sleep. Really? So you stay up watching your favorite TV show, and you just want to push the time just just a little later. Just a little later and you push it and you push it and you go to bed really late and you only get, like, four or five hours sleep and you wake up the next day feeling like crap. So you wake up the next day feeling like crap and every small thing that you do and noise. You know, every small conversation that you have to have annoys you and then just press repeat day after they week after week, month after month, year after year. That just scares the crap out of me. But I have been in jobs and situations where it seemed like nobody was enjoying what they were doing. You know, everyone seemed to be stuck in that mental routine box on. We've got all these different types of people in the world, you know, and I think especially for the more creative on them or imaginative people out there, I think it's very difficult for them to fit into that very logical team lifestyle of war. You know, just psychologically they're they're built differently. So for those kinds of creative people, you know which which I think I am, it's free. I think it's very difficult, and it's a huge struggle to find, to try and fit into the world and try and understand how they can contribute to the whole thing. So that's why the question what his life is such an important question. Because if you're one of those logical, like, very analytical people, this place for you in the world, you know, there are jobs where you go you can fit into. And you could do that job for years and years and be happy doing that. But if you're a bit of a daydreamer and if you're a bit more creative, you know, trying to do that routine job is like trying to be trying to do social media marketing with a calculator, why would it work? So that's what I'm going to talk about. I'm gonna talk about like, what is the life for one of those creative people? What does life mean? Like, what does a good life look like? 2. A Short Story About Managing Thoughts as a Creative Person: Now I think for the more creative people you know, the more daydreamer types, it can either go really, really negative or really, really positive for the more logical kinds of people. They can just sit in the middle. You know, between the extremes and just be happy. You know, things are stable and they can sit there on their good. But if you're someone that uses their imagination a lot, you know, the more you know the daydreaming types, you can imagine nightmares for yourself. And you can actually make those nightmares become reality. You know, some people lock into reality a lot, you know, their their their their whole mind is they're paying attention to reality. But then what I've seen is that other people kind of disengaged a little more from reality , and they let their mind daydream, and it can either go really negative already positive. But it seems like they're kind of going off into their imagination and to get some ideas to bring it back and then to kind of inject that into reality in some way. That's just how it seems to me. But the imagination is a very, very powerful tool. You know, and you can get stuck in these kind of vicious cycles off obsessive thinking. I would say that I definitely experienced this in the past, you know, like I would be in very normal regular situations in life. But for some reason, my imagination was just running wild and kind of imagining the absolute wars, possible outcome off any situation. And every time I imagined the worst possible outcome, I was just filling my body with negative emotion. Just feeling my body was stress. And the negative outcome that fires imagining was basically, if you boil it down, it was just me imagining myself failing at life someone you know, being very creative in imagining the different ways that I could feel. The way I see it is that your behavior definitely follows your thoughts, you know, So if you don't control it and you allow your thoughts to go in a very negative direction, your actions are definitely why just created my own fairs, you know, again and again and again. And then the biggest change that I made was just just one day, you know, I just realized I control no one else is going to do this, You know, I could be lazy. I can do nothing and just let it happen. Well, I could try and do So I sat down and I was kind of playing with this idea, so I just purposely unconsciously thought a very negative thought. And then I'll just pay attention. I could immediately feel negative emotion, you know, the stress of it. And so I thought, OK, cool. Okay, Now let's try and go for a possible And so I just stormed off. Adventure just got this idea of adventure like I like the idea of damage is often a jungle doing crazy stuff. So then way paying attention. And I could just feel like a small gold bus, like a small kind of buzzfeed until just realized in that moment that if I just say, for example, if I had 1000 ports to think of in one day, if all of those thoughts were negative, all of those thoughts were like very negative visualizations. And every time I thought was created that negative thought would trigger a negative emotion , you know, and just basically trigger stress. And if I just did that my whole life, I would just be a nervous wreck. That actually was the pattern that I was just stuck in for years. Every negative fort was triggering a stress response and the majority off my thoughts were negative. So I was basically just filling my own body with stress for years and years. And it just feels like a big dark cow that's following you around and walk away and people around you will normally try and help, and they'll say something like, You know, just cheer up. But the problem is, you just cannot do it because you don't understand the mechanics of it. But once you understand the basic mechanics of it, it's easy. And so I was thinking, OK, so if I have, for example, 1000 thorns to think off in one day, if I create 1000 positive thoughts about the future, I'm gonna have like, 1000 moments in the day where I'm gonna feel that little warm, gonna buzz feeling, you know, when you're going on holiday soon and you start thinking about that holiday and you're like I am and I'm gonna go to some like jungle on, I'm gonna go trekking and Gettinto Adventures or I'm gonna go to some beach and I'm going to stay in an Airbnb kind of like Tom Tree Tree house. You know this cock treehouse overlooking the ocean? Whatever your holly looks like to you, it's not feeling that I'm talking about It's that a warm kind of buzz feeling, you know, I don't know. It's like a mixture of serotonin and dopamine, but all I know is that when you dream off something embraced in the future, you get a good, warm kind of buzz feeling. So I just realized it there and then, you know, if I could control my thoughts and I could control that warm buzz feeling. And so immediately from that day on, I started dreaming off like the best possible future. Done a good thing. So I started thinking about my job, you know, like what was the perfect job? Does the future of earning a great Saturday but hating my job look like a good future, you know, So I wanted to kind of create a future where I get a great salary and I a really enjoy what I'm doing. But what exactly does that look like? You know, it's very difficult to try and imagine that stuff, but I just started working on it, you know, just playing around with different ideas, just to find the best possible picture. And I started thinking about, like, where I wanted to do, you know, like, just think about it, the best possible locations living around the world. And I tried to think of the kind of person I wanted to be, you know, just trying to turn the basketball old version of myself in the future. So it was basically just about training on every different aspect of life on one with the best possible picture look like for all of those different areas of life and honestly, that dark cloud of stressed that I had before just disappeared. So if you can't really good at this, you can actually create this kind of warm buzz feeling all day long every day. The problem is is that you can just do that. I mean, you gotta take action and you've got a kind of go out do stuff, do the work and try and make that stuff happen to. So if I look at that question, what is life? Life to me? is dreaming about the best possible future and then trying to make happen and then just continuously doing that day after day, like readjusting and trying to the ways. But just keep going with that basic method. And so if I was in a very routine job, you know, and if I was one of those very creative people and found it difficult to be in that routine job, I would just use that method because you can either go two ways, you know, you could go really, really negative or really positive. 3. Recognizing When Things Are Getting a Little Crazy: do you know about him? So I think a very important habit to development is recognizing when things are getting a little crazy. You know when situations are getting out of control, generally you can start to lose control of your thoughts and your actions. And when you lose control of your thoughts and erections, you know you can get stressed out and it can lead to burnout. And for some reason, some people can't really recognize that. And it just keeps going. You know, they just keep losing control, and it leads to burnout and crashing. So one of the strongest habits that are trying to bet is when that situation is getting crazy. Just ever removed myself and get some peace and quiet and then just sit there with myself and kind of collect my thoughts, you know, kind of categorizing. And it's all about just kind of getting my head straight on the issues. And then another key is somehow bringing the emotion down. You know, it's kind of like learning not to care so much about what's happening, because if you care too much, you know you get even Mawr and even more stressed out so It's about getting peace and quiet , collecting my thoughts, bringing the emotion down, being a logical and just getting everything clear. 4. Breaking The Habit of 'Worry Thinking": So now we're gonna talk about breaking habit, and they have it that you want to break. That I always want a break is the habit of worry or the habit of getting angry in a situation. Because if you think about it, worry is just a negative thought. You've got reality, you know, you've got the situation, and then you've got the thoughts in your head. So those negative thoughts in your head only make you feel bad. They don't change the situation. So to me, that thought of worry on that thought of anger is a waste of energy. It's a complete waste of time for you because the actual situation don't change. The situation remains the same, but you only feel worse. And the key is to break that negative habit and toe push that thinking in a positive direction. And I'm gonna talk about that next 5. Dreaming 'The Positive Dream of the Future': So now we're gonna talk about one of the strongest habits that are trying to. So if you go back to that negative thinking generally the situation around you doesn't change at all, said a situation can only change through action and with negative thinking, it only exists in your head. It's only your imagination, you know, you're maybe you're remembering something negative in the past or you're imagining the war is possible situation in the future. Those thoughts only exists in your head and your only make himself feel worse. The situation around you doesn't change it all. So if the situation around here is not gonna change, why not just put a positive force in your head and try to make yourself feel better? Because at the end of the day, your thoughts are the easiest things that you've been in control. So one of the strongest habits that are trying to bet he's dreaming positive dream off the future because at the end of the day, I control my thoughts. So why not dream that positive dream? Why do I have to get out of control and go in a negative direction so you can take this to the short term and the long term. I mean, you can imagine the best possible day tomorrow. You can imagine next week going really well. You know, you could just imagine dream of your life going really well in the future. So when you get this habit going, I mean, it's a really strong habit. I mean, what I do is I just dream of the best possible job that I could have Or, you know, I just dream off myself, having money, dream off myself, going on great holidays, traveling, You know, I just dream of the kind of place or, you know, the country, the location that I want to live in. Just dream of the house that you want to live in. I mean, why not dream those things and then just develop a strong habit of dreaming? The best possible dream for all the different areas of your life And what happens is is that sometimes some negative worry or interest thought thoughts will creeping. And then, you know you'll see your mind slowly drifting off into the negative direction. And then you just gotto kind of recognize that and catch it and then push it back in the positive direction, get momentum going and just developed that strong inhabit off dreaming positive flu 6. Building the Habit of "Solution Thinking": So now the next habit that I always try and develop is solution thinking because a lot of people get into the habit off problem thinking. It's kind of like they have a filter. And when they when they look at the world, they see problems. They see problems in their home situation. They see problems at work. They see problems in the world. It's problems. The world is just full of problems to them. But what I like to try and do is instead of just seeing problems, start filling my head with solutions. So if you can recognize that you're always think about problems, you know you've got a problem thinking habit. Now you just want to break that habit and create a new habit off solution, thinking, you know, constantly just push a mind towards solutions. Look at the world, think about solutions or see solutions in the world. And if you only think about problems, you're gonna feel like crap because you've just got a head full of problems and those thoughts are gonna trigger cortisol and stress chemicals. So you're gonna feel like crap. So why not just get into the habit? The strong habit off. Think about solutions. Because you're gonna have a head for the solutions. And you're gonna feel like this, Buzz, you know, this good kind of warm feeling like, Yeah, Okay, this problems, but I'm going to do something about 7. Actually Taking 'Positive Action': so positive thinking. And you know, filling your head with solutions is great because it makes you feel better. But if you think about your situation, you know reality around you, reality and the situation around you is not gonna change just by thinking positively and having ahead for the full of solutions. So the strongest that, like the most important habit that trying develop, he's the habit off positive action. And it gets a little bit tricky because it seems quite difficult to connect your positive thinking and your solutions toe actual physical action, like the connection between those two is very tricky for me, and I think I just get better at it through practice. You know, it's constant just trying and failing and trying and failing and practicing and getting better at it. But that is one of most important house to me. It's constructive, positive action. It's one of the trickiest habits to develop because it seems to be very difficult to transform what you see in your mind. You know that that dream that you envision in your mind and to try and convert that into reality through action is a very difficult skill to develop. So if you're talking about productivity, I mean that habit is the one that truly matters because that's the one that brings you physical, resulting in the world. So just focus on developing that skill and that habit. The habit is taking constructive, positive action. Focus on taking action. 8. A Simple Mental Process for More Productivity in Life: So the next habit that I want to talk about is more of a process. So it's kind of like a process. Have it, But it's just a process that I try and follow in life again and again, you know, trying to create a habit out of this process. So that process is first of all, you have your situation, you have a reality around. Okay? It could be bad. Could be OK, but that's the situation. So then what I try and do is I try and imagine the situation that I want to create in the future. Okay, so it's like a vision of the future or I'm dreaming of a situation with future so that three steps the first step. So imagine the thing you want to create for the situation you want to create. The second step is thinking about the solutions are imagining the best possible actions to take to get to that that positive situation. That's step two. Step three is actually taking action. Okay, so now you gotta take action and actually try and create that situation that you before you could imagine. And then I suppose the fourth step is just stepping back and seeing what you created. Stepping back, looking at this new situation and trying to match it toe what you imagined before, like, is it? Is it somewhat similar to what you were trying to create? But if it's not, then go back to re imagining the situation deposited situation. Go back to reimagining the solutions or the imagined action that you need to take and then take action again. And to me, it's just a life is just a continuous process off imagining what I want to create, imagining the solutions and the actions that I need to take, and then actually physically taking action and trying to create that thing and then stepping back and having a located. And if it's not that great than trying again, there's a good quote that I always think of its Keep your eye on the prize because everything else is just noise. Noise to me is worry and anxious thoughts about the future, because the noise is the worry in your head, so keep your eyes on the prize. Keep your eyes on your goal on your dream that you're trying to create, because the worry is a waste of time. It's just noise 9. Searching for the Best Solutions: So another habit trying develop is if you think about it, that that process you got your imagining, a situation that you want and then you've got your solutions and then taking action, taking action on you can do that and imagining what you want. Only rarely. You can do that. But if we're talking about solutions, there are a lot of people out there in the world who already have a lot of the solutions that you're looking for here. What you want, The mistake that I made years ago, the bad habit that I had was I was trying to do everything myself. You know, don't try and invent the wheel yourself. It's been done already. So what I try and do is you know, there's a lot of things that you can imagine that you want in life. And in all of those areas there are people out there with those solutions. So if it's health or fitness, I mean what I try and do I look from the leaders in that area, you know? I try. I listen to their interviews trying to read their books. I listen to podcasts with them on. You know everyone's got a YouTube channel these days. So I you know, I try and go on YouTube and watch their videos, and I just try and absorb their wisdom. So the habit is in all the areas that you're interested in, try and find the leaders in those areas and then just trying to absorb their their knowledge and their their wisdom supposed because then what you're doing is you're filling your mind with their solutions and then just try and take action with their solutions and see the kind of results that you get from taking action with their solutions. And then you can try and change things around. But really, what you're doing is you're just filling your mind with solutions.