Taking Steps To Organize The Rave In Your Head

Have you ever felt as if you had a “Rave” in your head?  Does it feel like a non-stop party of ideas, thoughts and things-to-do that you did not invite and cannot control?  Is it like a number of uninvited guests are waiting for you to wake each morning?  They invite their friends over till you end up being so overwhelmed that you accomplish nothing, let alone make a dent in their numbers.  When you do finally make it to bed, you end up staring at the ceiling with a running slideshow of what has to be done the next day. (Knowing that the most resilient of these uninvited guests will be waiting for you to wake in the morning and start the game all over again).  If this sounds familiar, I may have a solution.

First off:  You’re not insane, but you are on the road to getting there.  The average creative individual is often plagued with these uncontrolled thoughts and ideas. By giving them all an equal voice we make it virtually impossible to deal with any of them effectively.  They’re not bad ideas, they’re just not prioritized and dealt with properly.  The best ideas and plans when executed at the wrong time, or the wrong way, can lead towards the worst results.  This is a timeless concept supported by timeless quotes: “A time and a place for everything”, “Right tool for the right job” and so-on.

Luckily these are simple problems with simple solutions.  Notice I did not say “easy”.  When something is simple it usually means fewer steps are involved, not necessarily easier. When fewer steps are involved it gives the possibility of failure a higher percentage.  Something complicated has more steps, therefore more room for error.  While something complicated may take more time and steps to accomplish, we have a better chance of success that way. (These definitions are often times confused).  The reason I bring this up is because as artists we all like to think of ourselves as complicated. We find it insulting to even consider that we are simple, or predictable in nature.  Ironically this desire to be complicated is what makes us predictable.

Steps To Organize The “Rave” Before Becoming Overwelmed:
  • Before throwing a party you need to get your house in order. This is the same analogy as putting on your own oxygen mask during an aircraft emergency before assisting others.  You can’t be of any assistance to others if you are helpless as well.  So before taking on any more tasks or projects, schedule and organize what you currently are committed to. Basically “Clean your house”.  As artists we all have the bad habit of taking on too much because we have no idea how much we already have on our plate.
  • Set parameters and prioritize the ideas, projects and tasks that you will let in and alot time to. This is like setting up a triage for an emergency room. You analyze each of the patients before prioritizing and deciding which ones you will see and when. In keeping with the “Nightclub” analogy, you need to have a huge doorman that picks and chooses which ideas he lets beyond the velvet rope.  Not only is this doorman selective, but he considers these choices only when there is room for them to enter.
  • The third step is a modified version of the first.  You have to continuously be cleaning your house.  Acting as a bouncer and rotating the toxic, or unproductive elements out of your Nightclub.  This both keeps the party under control and allows room for new ideas and tasks to enter. Initially we tend to decide between ideas, based on If they are “good” or “bad”.  Later on we must refine this to weed through the “good” ideas to determine the ones that match our strengths and are the most productive.  This process of prioritizing allows us to be selective on what we take on, without guilt.
  • Lastly, we must learn the fine art of saying “no”.  When we are booked to the hilt, we have only three choices concerning new ideas.  Delegate the authority to somebody else, eliminate a prior commitment, or just say no.

It seems too simple, but that is the key.  Simple problems deserve simple answers.  Being overwelmed is not the inability of dealing with too many good ideas. It is the act of not recognizing the priority of these ideas and attempting to give them all equal attention, which is not physically possible.  Perfectly simple, rarely easy and definitely necessary.

Is it possible to categorize and prioritize your life in a few simple days? Of course not, it is an ongoing task that is never completed till the day we die.  This may sound depressing, but don’t let this get you down. The constant practice of categorizing and prioritizing will actually relieve the stress that plagues you at night.  When handled consistantly this process will eliminate the unending crowd of ideas. You’ll be able to sleep at night.  because the day’s work is done and the process will pick up where you left off in the morning.

As Artists we love to portray ourselves as radical and anarchistic, but in the long run we crave and need structure.  Organizing and prioritizing ideas does not stifle one’s creativity, it allows it to flow and become realized faster and more efficiently. Perception is reality. It takes a lot of forethought and planning to create the appearance of true spontaneity.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog as much as I had writing it. I would love to read your comments, experiences, or suggestions concerning this topic. Please sign up for my newsletter and follow me on your favorite Social Media group.

Craig Fraser

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  1. Gary Gilbert August 31, 2015 at 1:43 am

    I will say this hit home with me on many levels. Afraid to pass up on a idea instead of doing what needs to be done. Very well written and one of the best topics that all people fight with.

    • Craig August 31, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks. We all have to deal with it in our iwn way, but we don’t have to do it alone. (we can always get the “Cheat codes” from others).

  2. Noah August 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the great tips Craig. Love the drawing and the message. Keep it rolling.

  3. Sungod August 31, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    This is something I really need to do!

    • Craig August 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      We all do! Thanks for the comment.

  4. Kim August 31, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Great read, if our minds run around like a drunk monkey it becomes very difficult to create. I don’t deal well with chaos of the mind at all. 🙂

    • Craig August 31, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks! It can be like a rollercoaster sometimes, but we either deal with it, or it deals with us!

  5. Tank August 31, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Very useful information that will be much easier to remember and apply with the analogies used. Thanks for the article!

  6. Ray August 31, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Excellent article. Great and “simple” advice

    • Craig August 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks,i try and keep things simple!

  7. Patrick August 31, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Craig you nailed it for me!!! Thank you for your insight and taking time to put your thoughts out for us to read!

  8. Lisa September 1, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Excellent blog post about something many of us deal with but try to not admit that we do. Learning ways to get those ideas down so you don’t lose them and then reviewing them whether weekly, monthly or quarterly is a good way to calm the mind so you can focus on the current project. Your art was appropriate for this topic. Great job!

    • Craig September 1, 2015 at 4:43 am

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed both the blog and the art.

  9. Jonnyriel September 1, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Great job, bro… I’ll be reading this occasionally to remind myself. The rave analogy is perfect.

    • Craig September 4, 2015 at 5:55 am

      Kool! Glad you like the blog.

  10. Milo September 4, 2015 at 12:52 am

    This is so spot on, and I was just getting myself worked up in to an anxiety whirlwind that stops and paralyzes me in my tracks with what is next, then I decided I needed to re-read this (read it first last night), I think posting it next to my monitor might be better. Thank you for sharing your insight and experience!

  11. D-Dog Price September 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Love the art and how this all was written and have been dealing with the same. First things first is what I try to keep at the forefront of my mind and prioroitize. Cleaning house has been where I am now for months but it is getting there. Journaling new ideas and plans as they come is the best I will do till freed of prior commitments. It is great to know though that we are ot alone in this journey as a
    Creative person. Thank you Craig

  12. Cindy Lee October 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Dude…so right on, in so many levels this resonated with me. I am catching up with everyone and trying to read blogs. I might not comment on everyones, but after ditching social media for a bit, I am trying to get my own content and website up. Noah U has been a life saver, but I am still herding cats all the time. Yes stopping to get things in order is a big challenge for me. I don’t know how many times I have drawn out and redrawn my blocking of time. It always gets changed. Now I find myself teaching an art class on tuesday afternoons for a couple of hours. So its back to the drawing board. Well I hope to see you at ReImagine maybe we (Nichole, Lisa, etc) can all do dinner one night.You guys are amazing and help us newbies so much! Thank you, Thank you!
    FYI…I several alias’s Cindy Ochoa (FB), katsarena2015 (instagram), Cynthia AO Lee (NoahU), but in the end I am just Cindy Lee! LOL!

    • Craig October 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Glad you dug the blog! Thanks for the comments. There is no one answer, solution, plan, or schedule that remains constant. Heck the only thing that is constant in this life is “Change”.

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