Whenever I have a job to do that I don't really want to do I grab my timer and set it for 10 to 30 minutes and get to work. When the timer goes off I quit. Sometimes I choose to set it for another short period of time in order to finish the job, but usually that's enough unless it's a big job. At the end of the time I do something I want to do... like enjoy a cup of tea, or look out the window, or walk through my garden. Then I go back to work.
What I haven't tried is to apply this technique to making art. Then I read an article by Robert Bruce about how he sets his timer for 33.33 minutes and proceeds to tackle a copywriting job within his own set of rules. AHA! Why not apply the principles to common studio tasks that are hard to get started such as:
- making warm-up daily collages,
- applying layers of complexity to painted papers or journal pages,
- filing, sorting, tossing,
- writing in my journal,
- managing inventory,
- matting and framing,
- dancing with joy.
I've joked about my short attention span when applied to doing just about any type of art; well, it goes deeper than that. I have trouble with routine of any kind, with establishing and maintaining good habits, but since I already know that I like working with a timer on the less tasteful tasks maybe I'll get more accomplished more efficiently if I use a timer.