In her Time Management Course, Business Consultant and Creative Mònica Rodríguez Limia blew my mind with two simple principles based on her Applied Neuroscience findings.
Monica has been helping creatives worldwide to embrace the peculiar ways of the creative brain and become better business managers and administrators. Here’s what she taught me.
Principle Number One: Creatives’ Brains are Almost Always One Step Away from Burnout.
The brain of creatives constantly deals with abstract ideas and imagination, partially due to its receptiveness to inspiration, the intensity of its interpretations, and its facility to experience creative rapture. Imagine then how these sensitive brains can quickly become overstimulated by the hyper-input of today’s world.
By the time a creative go from inspiration to idea and finally decide to undertake a creative project, she has already oversaturated her brain with stimulus and processing. Then, critical skills like time and money management can become insurmountable barriers to action.
Never before had our brains needed to process so much information. Data production has grown exponentially in the last few years. And the digital era and our dependability on digital technology have us migrating into a more and more virtual existence.
Back in the day, we needed an agenda and calendar to manage our time-related productivity. Today, we’ve entered such a fast-evolving, intangible matrix that we need outlooks, macro and micro perspectives, processes, and even philosophies just to keep up with our minds and demands.
So much change in such a short time, no wonder that ADHD and OCD have become pandemic in their own right, and mental health has become a core conversation because there’s a real need to adapt, individually and culturally, into a more intangible, accelerated, and disruptive world.
Principle Number Two: Creatives can alternatively think with their hands and avoid their brains to collapse from informational overwhelming.
The good news is that creatives can use analog technology to deal with abstract and complex planning processes, thus freeing headspace to take action and execute their projects.
And what’s a good definition of analog technology? I see it as the use of tangible means to process information. Examples include using your hands and mind through paper, handwriting, post-its, rulers, colored pencils, journals, and notebooks to organize time, plan projects, keep track of goals, and even strategize.
Analog technology is like Earthing; it helps us connect with our soft animal and earthly senses. Taking a few minutes to handmade the lines in your weekly agenda, feeling the textures, manipulating, drawing, organizing, and writing your ideas in colorful post-its gets you to a place of reassurance from where you can then produce that work you wanted.
No wonder why these methods are at the root of almost any design and collective intelligence process.
Combined with proven processes and techniques like Get-Things-Done, brainstorming and prioritizing, or batching and chunking, analog technologies reconciled me with Time Management.
But not only that. Any project I start using paper and post-its to brainstorm, organize ideas, and structure my action flow is a project that has a better chance to be accomplished thoroughly and on time.
The sensory rituals I indulge in when mapping out my week in my self-made agenda, or brainstorming my pitches into post-its, have put me back on track. It’s the super-tool that gets me through the barrier of fear of action daily.