Working on different projects at the same time can help you to stay motivated.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I answer that I’m a visual artist and freelance photographer. Yes, I wear several hats.
On the one hand, I create personal artistic projects that are regularly exhibited and on the other hand, I create commissioned works for different types of people. It may sounds easy but believe me : both parts require a lot of work.

For some time now, I have also had the desire to teach.
This is why last year I conducted and led twice a workshop in an association.
I like the idea of teaching what I know and discuss about different topics with people. What could be more interesting than that ? ;)

As the month of August has just begun, I realized while preparing my next weeks, that I have in front of me, quite a few big projects different from each other. Here’s my To Do - List:

  • A whole new course program about photography (composed of courses about technical, some types of photography subjects and creativity) so I prepare all my courses in advance (and there’s a lot to say!!)
  • To look for new commissioned works
  • To look for new ideas for my personal projects
  • To continue working on my new portfolio
  • To make and send applications
  • To write new articles
  • And a day job in the next few weeks…
    In short, I won’t get bored and I like it !
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I like it because I find that working on different projects is good for my work but also for my well-being. It’s something I realized several years ago.
In fact, I understood that multiplying projects (whether they are short or long, big or small) and therefore always having them in front of me keeps me motivated and therefore well in my sneakers.
It’s good because you always have something to achieve, you always challenge yourself and always bring something extra for your resume (it will bear fruits) but also for yourself. It will also save you from dull moments when you might think “But what could I do tomorrow?”.
It’s about setting goals in life and seeing what more you can bring to yourself.
And it will always keep you active and stimulated by something.
Working on several things at the same time is also a good way to diversify and find new skills. There’s something rewarding about it.
When I started preparing workshops last year, I realized that I knew a lot more than I thought I did and I was so excited to be able to share that!
Also, what I like about this process is that when I saturate a bit of one project, I can take refuge in another and then come back to the previous one when my ideas and/or motivation are back.
It’s like a vicious circle but in the good sense of the word: the more projects you build, the more motivated you stay and therefore you necessarily know that to stay motivated, you have to build projects.
Of course you must have a minimum of interest in what you’re going to do but it doesn’t have to been a “big” project.
Just think about what else you could do.
I also see that when I apply for an application that multiplying projects (and obviously finishing them) can be largely beneficial.

But working on several things at the same time can be stressful.
At some point, you may feel overwhelmed and confused.
This often happened to me in the beginning.
To avoid all that, you have to get organized. Make a schedule and stick to it. For example, I know that on Mondays, for several hours, I look at the applications call on the internet. I note those that interest me (those where my work could be related to what’s requested) in three notebooks : a notebook with my “general” job-related tasks (like a To-Do list), a notebook where I write down all the information of the concerned calls and my agenda.
As for the rest of my weeks, I divide them between my different projects, respecting certain priorities such as clients, deadlines, what will take me the most time and the rest. Some days, I may work on one project and then the next day on another. Sometimes I divide my days into several parts: for example, in the morning I make submissions for applications calls and in the afternoon I work on my course proposals.
It depends on my priorities, but in any case, I know it’s moving forward.
Organization varies from person to person. Every case is different.
And you’ll see that by getting organized, you’ll learn even more valuable things about yourself. Things you may not have suspected until now.
But always stay within what you’re able to handle, make sure you don’t spread yourself too much so that you can best focus on your various projects.
Don’t forget to keep potential distractions (social networks, personal things…) away. You‘ll have time for that later !

Of course I don’t want to say that everyone is able to/should work on several projects at the same time. I think it depends on the work but also on the person’s personality. A person who has problems with concentration or motivation may be less attracted to the idea of multiplying projects.
But I think everyone should try at least once.

French visual artist

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