A technique I like to use to get myself to move work forward is the creative sprint. Most times, sprinting towards a finish line comes pretty naturally when working towards an exterior deadline--a show, a fair, or a promised delivery date.
But many times I'm simply making work for myself, or maybe I'm trying to experiment with something and am struggling with motivation. The key for me is to simply re-frame my working questions to make a tiny artificial deadline for myself. This can be something like, "How many pieces can I create in an hour?" or "I have 20 pieces of paper to use this round, and they all have to be different," or, "I'll just keep working on this one piece until the end of this album I'm listening to."
This kind of re-framing is all about choosing a limitation--be it the narrowing of time, the medium you choose, a color range, or a size. It could be something more abstract--a challenge to yourself to create something that suits a really difficult-to please person. Or maybe it's supposed to be thought-provoking. The parameters could even be economic--only let the piece cost so much money (or time) to execute.
Like an external deadline, re-framing my questions & adding a limit to my creative work helps me to shed the fussiness that comes with feeling stuck, and returns me to the process.
Working through my last holiday season I discovered a beautiful set of limits in which to work. A holiday season forces people to create on a deadline, but also for a really specific purpose--gifting. A gift usually comes with a particular range of economic values, which defines the amount of time I spend and the mediums I use. It also helps me to look at my work and determine what the essential elements of what a good, engaging print is.
And so the beauty of creative sprinting is that you can use in such a variety of ways; I use it for both my commercial work and personal work. It helps me to meet deadlines, to make decisions without agonizing too much, and to work through a creative rut or block.