Why I start the day creatively for a more productive day
I'm sat at my desk alternating between Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vero. I'm really annoying myself.
Then, out loud I say enough is enough and I grab my coffee, iPhone and a handful of chocolates (essentials) and head to the back door to pull on my wellibobs (I adore these mini wellies from Joules).
Outside the back door I take a deep breath, then follow the dog to the chicken run where I let the eager birds out to eat grass, wade in the stream and scratch about for various insects and worms. I watch them for a while then chuck the cold dregs from my coffee, set the cup down on a sleeper (which I'll forget about until I fasten the chickens back in later) and pull my phone out my pocket. Switching to camera mode I hold it vertically and start recording video.
Most of my early mornings begin like this. I love a good sunrise. It's rare that I start filming my Instagram stories later in the day, like today.
I find it helps, creatively and productively, to create a mini-film for Instagram stories first thing. It sets me up for the day. It energises me. It refills my 'creative well'. It makes me notice nature, stillness, the noise of the chicken splashing through the stream. Birds, an aeroplane flying high above, the trickle of water, the murmurs of the chickens. The gentle wack-wack, wack-wack-wack of the drakes as they walk by, all the ducks in a row.
Then I come indoors, open iMovie on my laptop, transfer the images over from my phone, find some fitting music from Soundstripe* and begin the process of editing all the images together into a 15, 30 or 45 second mini-film.
Social media is forgotten about until I upload the film to my Instagram Stories. Even so, once I've had a little look on Instagram to see what everyone else is up to, I feel I can start writing. Like now. This is literally the process I've just been through to write this blog post. I couldn't write it earlier because I was drained from the incessant social media scrolling.
I've been asked how do you find the time to create these mini films for Instagram Stories? Well, two ways. Firstly, like many things, it gets quicker the more you do it. Practice means I can create a film from start to finish in about 30-40 minutes (unless I get distracted by the outdoors!) And, secondly, I carve out the time by foregoing my social media time.
So this is my top tip if you'd like a more productive day.
Ignore the pull of social media first thing. Instead create something. Make a film for Instagram Stories, write a piece of flash fiction, cover a page in your journal or have a painting, sketching or a photography session.
90% of the time this creativity for the joy of it before I start a day of writing, blogging and mentoring means I'll have a much more productive day.
*On Soundstripe you can use the code HELENREDFERN to get 10% off a one month or one year subscription.
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