Tools: Approaches

Use these procedures for addressing or accomplishing your creative work.
Click below on "taxonomies" to learn types of mindsets, or scroll and search all 116 tools!

# 302

I do great work and want to grow it and build an empire

Franchising
Systemizing your creative work in such a way that it could be replicated and productized
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# 308

I am only using a fraction of my talent and want to do more

Bullseyeing
Reversing the target marketing process where customers aim at you
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# 311

I am overwhelmed by all the information, opinions and content clogging up my mind

Selective Indifference
Being discerning enough not to dwell on meaningless matters, conserving your best energies for your creative efforts
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# 297

I work at a company that moves too fast, and people are tired and don’t have time to do great work

Downshifting
Creating the necessary whitespace to take a breath and decide what the next right action is
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# 300

I want to make a lasting contribution and tap into my strengths at work

Buffaloing
An integrative approach to identifying, understanding, exploiting and managing your own talent
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# 281

I want some process on our team, but don’t want to overdo it

Process Calibration
Finding the middle ground that balances your team’s need for predictability with its freedom to be creative
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# 287

I have creative talent, but nowhere or no way to use it

Wherewithal
The larger equation of everything needed to buttress creative opportunity, including knowledge, resources and courage.
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# 290

I have many potential projects on my plate, but I’m not sure which one to focus on next

Opportunity Junkie
A filter that evaluates the asset value of a potential new project or endeavor
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# 291

I want to build a culture of innovation, retain clients through great work and make waves throughout the organization

Innovation Audit
Building a complete value ecosystem, including content, context, circumstance, consumer and circulation
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# 292

I want new opportunities, but people and companies want my time for free

Labor Limit
Setting boundaries on your generosity of providing unpaid service
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# 294

I have information overload and get stressed and overwhelmed

Conscious Consumption
Applying a level discernment to the intellectual nourishment you ingest
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# 295

I am in between projects, but I can’t decide what the next thing is

Project Junkie
A brainstorming framework to decide which venture to tackle next
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# 261

I do great work, but not sure how, and I want to improve my skills

Deconstructive Learning
Attaching introspection to action to understand the full extent of your capabilities so you can replicate your success
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# 264

I get frustrated and discouraged by people’s feedback about me

Feedback Filter
A binary grounding question we ask ourselves to recalibrate and put criticism in perspective
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# 267

I want people to buy my product and believe in my brand

Prologuing
Illustrating the historical context to feather people’s intellectual nests so your product has a smooth landing
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# 268

I am new to this company, and I want to learn quick and create value right away

Threading
Teasing out the historical context of an organization to give your work more leverage
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# 270

I want to get a job, or thrive in a new role, but nobody here knows what I do yet

Dictionarian
Creating your own language to capture the nuance you’re seeing that makes you good at what you do
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# 279

I don’t know how fast or slow my creative project should be progressing

Micro Pacing
An elegantly balanced production effort between heating and cooling
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# 257

I have a team that takes forever to finish projects

Haybarning
Declaring something done so your team can reap the benefits of their hard work
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# 258

I want to connect with people more through my art, but it’s hard to get noticed

Blood Gauge
A personal filter for your own work that reinforces the importance of risk.
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# 259

I have been staring at the screen for too long, not sure what to do

Artist Allotment
A personal policy for managing compositional paralysis
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# 242

I want to do something completely different in my creative life, and it’s scary

Unlabeling
The reinvention process of peeling off your old identity and creating a new one that sticks
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# 246

I am not good at dealing with sudden changes, they throw me off my game

Associative Trigger
Personal patterns and physical objects that echo the habits of action and allow you to enter into your creative zone.
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# 248

I can’t start from scratch and stare at a screen all day

Well Digging
Accumulating an ongoing reference file for your brain to work on through a passive, unconscious process
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# 250

I am not getting anywhere with this stupid project and it’s annoying

Go Perpendicular
Intentionally walking away from your current work to engage in something unrelated to the flow of activity
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# 252

I am tired of looking at my project and I need a break to get new energy

Tourniquetting
Creating a healthy sense of distance from your work by damming up the creative flow, compressing the circulation and applying pressure
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# 254

I’m bored and stuck need an outlet for my energy

Clearinghouse
A conceptual destination where you can unite all of her interesting elements, intermingling your interests and themes into a meaningful, cohesive whole
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# 255

I have too many artistic opportunities coming my way, and not sure which to pursue

Whitespacing
Defining your creative journey by the work you decline
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# 221

I have a big meeting, presentation or performance coming up and I want to nail it

Over Preparation
Creating twenty percent more content than necessary so it’s easier to adjust on the fly
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# 224

I have this dope idea, but I don’t know if I should share it with people or not yet

Paranoia Snowball
Working quietly and quickly to keep your idea contained until it’s strong enough to roll on its own
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# 229

I have some clients, but they’re not worth the effort, and I want to grow

Upstreaming
Filtering projects based on labor intensity and the economy of effort
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# 231

I don’t know where to get ideas, and I wish there was something unique about my work

Units Up
Exponentially increasing your activity level to create a stronger baseline for yourself
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# 237

I am doing the same old creative work without elevating, just executing

Forging
Motivating your creativity by forcing yourself to overcome unpleasant but unavoidable challenges
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# 213

I have to pay bills otherwise I will have to move back in with my parents

Hacquisitioning
Making a list of everyone you ever served in the past and asking them to buy this new thing you just made
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# 216

I want to publish this new piece of work, but I’m afraid of how it’s going to be received

Reality Waterfall
A chain of logic that reduces the probability of something negative happening to such a degree that it seems ridiculous
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# 217

I am bored, there is nothing to do, and I’m going crazy

Crop Rotation
Regularly changing and invigorating your creative ground in order to stay fertile over the long arc of your career
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# 218

I am a new, young team member and want to get noticed for doing great work

Value Continuum
An employee contribution framework for tracking ideas, tools, connections and opportunities
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# 201

I don’t have money, or I’m depressed and can’t do work

Existential Machinery
Taking control of the means of production, but also the production of meaning
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# 202

I’m afraid of messing up on this task and getting discouraged from taking action

Short Circuiting
Doing things before the fear has time to reach your mind
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# 203

I do great work, fans love me, and I need to build my brand

Formatting
Treating your creative work as a property that can be exploited into numerous mediums
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# 204

I am putting constant time pressure on myself with heavy workloads, and it’s too demanding

Miraging
Deliberately choosing not to do something to see it simply goes away and nobody notices
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# 205

I am working on this gigantic, overwhelming thing, and I need to organize my thoughts and gain perspective

Papering
Contextualizing your problems in the larger ecosystem to see the structures that underlie complete situations
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# 206

I want my work to have a bigger audience, but without killing myself

Whaling
Filtering potential creative opportunities by their ability to multiply revenue without increasing labor
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# 207

I wish I could go viral and have fortunate things happen to me like they do for others

Lucking Up
A specific set of strategic moves that have to happen after a fortunate incident in order to carry the momentum forward
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# 184

I work so hard for so long that my body just gives out from exhaustion or stress

Macro Pacing
Giving yourself permission to work at your own healthy tempo, velocity and trajectory
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# 187

I am working a lot more now, and I forget to take care of myself sometimes

Off Buttoning
Deepening your personal recovery to match your professional intensity
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# 191

I have this task, project or experience that I know will be stressful, chaotic and emotionally volatile

Frontloading
Maximize the potential for success by putting a greater proportion of the activity at the beginning of the process
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# 192

I want to spread the word about my work, but it’s expensive and people are busy

Sugardaddying
Constantly thinking about potential collaborations that can reduce your financial burden and reduce labor intensity
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# 194

I work with a new team and people are trying to shoot down my confidence

Baselining
Figuring out where you're already been trusted for a history of delivering quality, and use that to your advantage.
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# 196

I am so inundated with all these noisy messages coming in, and I can’t clear my head to create

Cornering
Creating positive predicaments for yourself in which only having a few or no outcomes was a forcing function for the better
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