Prolific Productivity

4th August 2023

A recent email from the Do Lectures pointed us in the direction of an article by Thomas Oppong entitled Prolific Productivity: The Secret Habits of Pablo Picasso.

The article had our attention at prolific productivity!

For most, Picasso’s name is instantly associated with his work as an artist, but ‘what many people don’t realise is that he was also a brilliant mind who developed a new way of thinking about progress.’ And as such, was able to produce an astounding 147,000+ pieces across his 78-year career! 

As many of us know, creativity can be difficult to sustain, and we can struggle to incorporate it into our every day. Whilst unlike Pablo Picasso, for most of us our time with needle and thread is not our full-time occupation, the way in which Picasso was able to see the big picture and then execute small improvements towards achievement is something we can all learn from.

Though Picasso struggled with both his health and financial security, he created habits and systems that supported his natural talent, allowing him to amass an output that ‘was prolific both in terms of quantity and quality’.

Whilst Picasso’s productivity can be attributed to a few simple things, for him, they all came down to his long work sessions. Although we’re not suggesting any of us should follow his method of little sleep and working up to 14 hours each day, we did appreciate that finding the time for sustained sessions of stitching might just be what is required from us at times as we look to increase our productivity.

Aside from the length of time spent creating, Picasso also ensured he had a dedicated space to work from, that he was surrounded by visual stimulation that allowed his creativity to flourish, and took breaks when necessary in order to safeguard his focus. 

One of his best ‘hacks’ to ensure a productive work session, though, was to start his day with a clear purpose. He would decide the night before what he wanted to achieve the following day, which allowed him to start work without the distraction of trying to decide on what he would do to ensure an industrious day lay ahead.

Pablo Picasso is often referred to as ‘the genius of his time because of his unique ability to transform raw artistic materials into beautiful and original works’. Whilst we’re not aiming for ‘genius’, we definitely share Picasso’s passion for turning raw materials into something beautiful and think his ways of ensuring productivity might just help us achieve more with our needle and thread.

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