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TUESDAY TALK: Trying Out Serial Creation

By Whitney Yeldell
2.02.2016

Like so many of us, Jonathan Fields is a creative professional that dabbles in and out of different creative realms. Author, web designer and program developer are just a few titles that describe his professional identity. While taking on all of these roles is exactly what he wanted, he found that dividing his time between all of his projects handicapped his momentum in each project. He says at any given moment that “there are 5 to 10 things that really matter, that I have to do, that I want to do, that are just awesome and amazing projects.” But, allotting time to fully dive into each of these is always a struggle. Fields tried out a new method of productivity for a three month span and found incredible results.

It’s the difference between what he calls serial creation versus parallel creation. Parallel creation consists of working on all of your projects for a certain amount of time each day. Instead of splitting your day between all of your projects, Jonathan recommends to block off large chunks of time for each task, pouring all of your “creative juices” into one single window of time or practicing “serial creation”. Doing multiple things simultaneously make it near impossible to produce fierce and uninterrupted work.

During his parallel method of creation, Fields realized all his projects were moving forward “kind of” but just as he was getting into the groove with one project, he’d have to “ramp up to the next thing.” Switching to a serial method, “I started to be able to get into an almost ritualistic rhythm and just create on a real, extraordinary level.” He goes on to say, “the change both in my quality of what I was writing… the speed at which I was able to write…where I just knew I was going to sit down and hit the ground running felt amazing” in comparison. Looking at a 3 month window for your projects and blocking off three or so weeks at a time to submerge yourself into each creative task will “skyrocket the quality of your work… and allow you to enjoy this process so much more.”